Topic: Presumption in spiritual warfare
Text: 1 Samuel 15:1-23
Key verse: What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams
The life of a believer is constant warfare against the kingdom of darkness, Jesus clearly states the mission of the devil as “…the thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10
To ensure victory always a believer must avoid the error of presumption concerning the scope and enemies during warfare. A presumption consists of accepting that something is true in the absence of sufficient evidence to the contrary.
Saul received a specific instruction concerning the mission, who and what was to be destroyed was clearly stated, while on the mission his men decided to put aside some of the animals for themselves and he also chose to spare the King of that nation. On his return Samuel the Prophet inquired about the mission and Saul gave a successful report. He did not consider it an offense that any part of the instruction was left unfulfilled.
Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs—everything that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.
Why did this happen? Why was Saul not afraid or concerned about not completely obeying God’s instruction? While we can speculate about his motives, his answer to Samuel’s query revealed his presumption about what God wants.
“The army indeed spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.”
He assumed that God loves sacrifices and would be pleased if some of the accursed animals were offered to him, and because there was no one to counter that belief or resist it, Saul presumed it was okay.
Actions in spiritual warfare must not be based on presumption because it cost Saul the throne. A second example of the same mindset in Saul was the reason for his pursuit of David. This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousand and me with only thousands. Next, they’ll be making him their king!”
David did not act in a manner that suggested his intent to overthrow Saul, but he just presumed the worst about David and continued to pursue David even at the risk of his own life.
Since Jesus is the one who leads us on in warfare, we must rely on his word strictly for guidance on what to do. The scriptures say as many as are led by the spirit are the sons of God. In prayer many times we don’t know how we ought to pray but the Spirit has been given to us to lead us on how and what to pray for.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Romans 8:27
For God to fight for us, we must completely obey his word, partial obedience is not acceptable. Disobedience of any kind is termed as a rebellion against God’s authority over your life. What is that scripture you do not agree with? What is that commandment you have decided not to obey? It will leave you vulnerable on the battlefield.
And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient 2 Corinthians 10:6
In spiritual warfare, our mission is to destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians:10:5
Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
Let’s examine our hearts today before the mirror of God’s word, am l living in disobedience in any area of my life against my spouse, parents, or higher authorities? Are my thoughts rebellious against God’s command of holiness, forgiveness, and humility? That may be a clue to some unanswered prayers in your life, similar to the defeat Joshua and the Jews had when they went to battle against Ai the first time and there was sin in Achan’s life; he kept to himself accursed things from Jericho.
Let’s strip ourselves of any spot or blemish that can hinder us from securing our victory, let’s silence the flesh and its demands and trust God for divine direction as we determine his will for our lives and our families in this season of unprecedented events and occurrences.
Don’t make assumptions that everyone has the same specific instructions for warfare, get your instructions from God, the way the gods of Egypt were judged was different from the way Baal and his prophets were judged. Get your battle plan from the Lord alone, quit copying everybody’s strategy.
May the Lord, Jehovah Sabaoth fight for you and with you always in Jesus’ name. Amen.