He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed, to put out my hand against him, since he is the anointed of the LORD.”
1 Samuel 24:6
We are busy considering the following question: How do you submit to the authority of a leader even when you feel they don’t deserve your co-operation?
As we have already said, character plays a vital role here – what you wish to do versus what you know is the right thing to do are two very different approaches. How many men and women in the Bible didn’t have the opportunity to defy those in the position of leadership, yet because of their walk with the Lord chose not to act on their impulses.
Each one of them that chose to do things in a manner that pleased the Lord found themselves in a far greater position in the end. Perhaps the reason for their willingness not to react came from a place of understanding – understanding the fact that a test was in progress.
The way forward in a particular moment might not always be the right way in the end. One character that comes to mind is King David. We all know this story so well – serving under King Saul who was pleased with him and showed David great favour until he’s jealousy got the better of him.
David spent a great deal of his time both in service to King Saul as well as running from him. While his service to Saul was nothing sinister, this never stopped Saul from making his life difficult. As we all know, having been on the run for his life an opportune moment presented itself to David, to finally rid himself of the problem.
Saul was alone in the very cave David was hiding in with his band of soldiers, leaving Saul all but defenseless. His men pointed out his position of opportunity; it must have made it seem like the perfect moment. After all, the promise of becoming king was already his; it was only a matter of timing.
How many of us wouldn’t have made the mistake of listening to those close to us and, coupled with the promise of God, taken out the competition? This is probably what would separate us from David today. Many of us would have chosen to react instead of seeing the situation for what it really was – a test. David was a man who wanted to please God. Killing Saul would not have been the right thing to do as he knew that God had placed Saul in the very position he was to inherit someday.
My friend, it is easy for us to miss the fact that God could simply be testing us in the moments those who are in authority give us a hard time. How we react in these moments paints a picture of how we will handle the plans God has for us in the future.
Simply put: failing to display what God considers to be the right thing to do in the moment, means failing to show the maturity that will be required for the bigger things He has in store for you at a later stage.
Heavenly Father. I pray that You would help me remember this bit of truth the next time I am faced with a particularly difficult moment; that I would choose to do that what pleases You. Help me to pass these moments of testing I pray in Jesus name. Amen