Learn What Not To Do, Before It's Too Late
I've been pretty transparent and vulnerable with you all lately. In fact, some may call me crazy for being so open about my failures. I might have called myself crazy a year ago! However, I've witnessed too many Christians wear a cloak to hide their not so lovely side; all along they struggle because they won't talk about their struggles and alienate those who are struggling. I didn't want to be that person anymore and figured that if I really wanted to be there for people, I had to show my cards. I had to share ALL that God has done, and that includes sharing the messy.
Saul was a person who had a lot of weight and darkness he was carrying on the inside. His pride got the best of him and for many years he walked in disobedience against God. Interestingly enough, Saul's struggles started out small. In 1 Samuel 13 (which you can read more about here), Saul made his first mistake when he offered a sacrifice to God before Samuel arrived, which he wasn't supposed to do. With that his sins begin, and like a snowball they grew bigger because he never dealt with them, but instead allowed them to accumulate.
After some time God told Saul that he would take the kingdom from Saul as a result of his disobedience. It's here in the last few chapters of 1 Samuel that we see it actually happen. In chapter 28, Saul and the Israelites prepare to go to battle against the Philistines. Instead of seeking God, Saul decides to seek the assistance of a medium to conjure up the spirit of Samuel. Here's what Samuel says in 1 Samuel 28:16-19 (ESV),
"Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover, the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.”
For the record, because some may ask, in verse 15 Saul says that God has turned against him, which is why he is seeking the spirit of Samuel. However, I wonder if Saul even tried to seek God in the first place. And if he had, did he approach with true repentance. I can't help but wonder if Saul had truly broken before the Lord, God would have been merciful. Because God is, and I know this from personal experience.
As I mentioned in the video, I went through a season five years ago where I committed a pretty messy sin. In my first relationship I had sex outside of marriage. I wrote a three part series about this experience and the restoration process for Single Christianity Magazine, which can also be found here on my website if you'd like to read more about my journey.
As a result, I met with my pastors and stepped out of ministry to go through a restoration process. That began the hardest season of my life, and yet I can tell you it was one of the best. The best in the sense that I grew more in those few years than I ever have.
The message to you today is this: don't carry your sin. Saul never dealt with his sin and as a result, there were some consequences. Consequences that didn't effect just him, but effected his family and the nation. Saul not only lost his kingship, but he lost his life and his son's died in battle.
Your decisions effect your future and the people around you. If you carry sin, chances are you'll continue down a destructive path and hurt those around you. I know it's not easy or convenient to deal with the sin. I was so concerned with what people would think of me and having to step out of the ministry I loved so much. Having gone through it, I can tell you it was necessary and helpful. It was the best thing for me and I couldn't be more thankful for the process.
If you are carrying around some sin, secrets and baggage right now, please let it out. The weight will only strip you in the end and you'll wish you had dealt with it. I promise you, you'll be glad you did.
Is there a sin you are concealing and haven't dealt with? Get yourself into a place of true repentance, confess the sin to the appropriate person and find some godly counsel for the restoration process.
Are you struggling with a temptation you are afraid might turn into more? If so, find key scriptures to memorize that will strengthen you, write down a plan on how you can avoid the temptation, and get a godly friend who can keep you accountable.
If you are in this place right now and you're not sure what to do, please don't hesitate to send me a message on the contact page so that I can help.