Honoring the Anointing

King David- A Man After God’s Own Heart

Honoring the Anointing 

Sunday, January 24th, 2021

 

Welcome! It is good to be in the house of the Lord! It is GREAT to come together in praise and worship of our Lord! Let us remember this first and foremost-it is always a great day to worship our Lord! He is always worthy of our praise and absolute trust and devotion. Always. 

I am fully aware of the events and direction our country is taking this past week is leaving us with a multitude of feelings and thoughts-from absolute elation and joy to utter fear, dismay and anger-and everything in between. We could be having the same conversation we did four years ago, just looking at it from a different perspective right? Those who did not vote for our current president, can think back four years ago to the joy, hope and excitement you might have felt or at least confidence because the party you affiliate with would be guiding decisions for the country. Those who voted for this president can remember the fear, dismay and anger you likely felt four years ago. It all depends on the lens you are looking through. 

 

Yet through it all we must always remember God is sovereign. God is the One True King. God is our Living God and it is 21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.  Daniel 2: 21-22. 

God rules over all things, all people and all times. He always has and He always will. He is sovereign which means there is no power higher than His, no one with more authority than Him. There is no outcome that surprises Him. There is nothing that He can’t bring good from and He will always accomplish His divine purposes. Always. 

I say this because while it’s wonderful to have differing opinions and views, we are also witnessing the great destruction and divide that can come when we let our views take a higher place in our hearts than the love we have for God and for humanity. When we fail to remember God is sovereign and always at work for the good of His people, when we fail to remember we are called to love one another to show the world we are disciples of Christ. We have to remember our greatest calling and honor at all times-which is to be a reflection of Christ-to be His ambassadors in this broken world-which means we are to love others above all. 

 

This division also happens when we fail to honor the anointing of God-when it’s on people we disagree with, or maybe even some who come against us. As Christians, we are called to honor the call that God places on people’s lives. If we are too caught up in self or defending our views, we can very well miss honoring the call God has given someone. This can be at all levels in our lives from our president to local leaders, to teachers, to pastors, to employers, to spouses, to parents, to fellow Christians and brothers and sisters in Christ. Are we looking for and choosing to honor the call on others’ lives? We should be. 

I think we have a lot of room for improvement-all of us in the days ahead. We have all allowed, tolerated or instigated far too much division in our nation these past many years. Listen if we aren’t willing to do better, how can we expect those who don’t know Christ to be any better? We say we want unity, peace and healing in our country, but are we willing to do what is required of us to bring that about? We as Christians are called to set the culture in this world. It’s who we are as children of the Living God. We can humble ourselves before God and make sure our heart is making Him our greatest treasure, that we are loving Him and in turn loving others (all others) because of our love for Him.

This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone-not at all. It means you honor and love them as a creation of God-just like you are. It means we are honoring the anointing of God as He places it on others because we recognize God has chosen them to carry out some purpose for His kingdom.  What I’m suggesting and calling us to do, is not easy to do, but it is the only way to true healing and unity. It requires us dying to self and living for Christ. It requires us humbling ourselves before God and letting His Spirit direct us. It requires us looking at others through God’s eyes and seeking His divine purpose lived out in them. It requires self-control to hold our tongue and a willingness to seek to understand those who differ from us. It requires the divine love and grace of God flowing through us as we speak in truth. 

 

You and I as Christians must humble ourselves and model the way. “If My people will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14.     

Too often, we want to point this truth towards someone else or some other group and say “If they will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways…”  While that may be true and needed, may we always be willing to let it be so in our hearts first. 

Let’s pray and do that right now.  

Let this be our prayer as we continue in this message:

“23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24. 

Teach me Your ways Father. Help me to see and honor the anointing You place on others’ lives and help me to wait for and walk in the anointing You have placed on my life. I don’t want to be doing things my own way or in my timing. I want to listen for Your direction and follow where You lead. Guide me today Father and teaching me about honoring the anointing. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

I share all of this as we continue in our series focused on King David because he most certainly knew about division, betrayal, wickedness, anger, fear and dismay. He knew loyalty that was discarded and he also knew righteousness and living by God’s commands. He knew and understood the anointing of God as powerful and always to be honored, and that the anointing of who, what and when was entirely up to God, not man. As we discussed already, David was a man devoted to God and built his entire life around the worship of God. It was not solely an act he did each week; it was a lifestyle in which he lived. 

Because he was a man who truly made the worship of God his treasure, he was able to humble himself to honor the anointing on someone who turned out to be his enemy and also wait patiently for the anointing to be fulfilled in his own life. 

The enemy I am referring to was King Saul. As we discussed, Saul became very jealous of David-raging jealousy consumed Saul’s heart. His life’s focus was no longer on worshiping God who placed him in the role as king of Israel and granted him much favor over his enemies and with his people. That had long been gone from his heart. His focus was not even on properly leading his country to strengthen and build the nation of Israel. His focus had shifted to utter destruction of David. This caused David to flee from his home, his family, his new wife (Saul’s daughter) and to literally be on the run for his life for years to come. The two who had a good relationship before, now found themselves completely divided. To be clear, this was provoked and initiated by King Saul. David was solely in survival mode. 

We can find ourselves in changing dynamics like this. We were once close with someone or a group of people working well together, serving together and loving one another-showing loyalty to each other, but then a shift happens and that dynamic instantly changes. In this case, it was jealousy and pride that caused the shift. It could be broken trust. It could be opposing ideals and beliefs as we have seen in our nation. There can be many factors that cause a shift in the dynamic of a relationship or towards a group of people. The important thing for each of us to discern is what is of God, what is honoring to God and what is of self and honoring to self. One of my colleagues and fellow pastors wisely said, “shame on any of us if we break fellowship with anyone over temporal things.”  He said masks or no masks for example-not of His eternal kingdom. Not a reason to break fellowship. Let us be careful to uphold fellowship with the Body of Christ to keep His Church united and strong. 

In Saul’s case he was in the wrong. There was nothing in his actions that honored God. He was looking out for self only.  He allowed jealousy over the successes David had to destroy a relationship with someone who was truly loyal. Saul could have recognized the favor of God on David’s life and chose to see the blessing it was for him and their kingdom. But he saw David as a threat. Saul could have honored the anointing and favor that was clearly on David by God, but he didn’t. Bitterness took root and darkness consumed his thoughts and actions. How often have we let that happen in our lives? God will choose whom He chooses for His purposes and His glory. If we see that anointing upon someone then we must honor the anointing. It is not for us to say I wouldn’t choose that person for that role. We honor the call and the anointing for it is to our blessing and favor as we do. David understood this.

What we must also remember is that Saul had once been anointed by God too. Is that hard to remember as we look at the actions of Saul as a leader and a betrayer to David? Saul had been God’s anointed. The fingerprints of God had touched him. As I shared last week, when David was anointed, God then removed the anointing on Saul. Saul was not a worshiper in heart to God and God has every right to place His anointing upon someone and take it away from someone as He sees fit. The difference between Saul and David as we’ll look at today, is David honored the anointing above the desires of his flesh. He honored the anointing above the flawed person. 

God will give us the opportunity to both test and develop our character. David was entering one of those times of testing that we’ll be looking at today. God was developing David’s character to truly be a mentor king for his people. Both parties had informants to share the location of each other and their armies. Saul had found out where David was heading and David got wind of where Saul was camping out. We’re going to pick it up when David sets out to see what he is up against by scouting out Saul’s camp. Let’s pay close attention to what he sees and how he responds. 

 

1 Samuel 26: 5-11 NIV

Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him. David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?” “I’ll go with you,” said Abishai. So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.

Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”

But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

 

  • Choose Character Over Revenge

To honor the anointing of God we must choose to take hold of and walk in the character of God at all times. David as a man being hunted down, a warrior and soldier, the truly anointed king by God in that moment-could have taken matters into his own hands and by human standards would have been justified in every way. He could get revenge for all that Saul had put him through. He could put an end to the running. He could finish Saul once and for all. He could take his rightful place as king. But he didn’t.

David spared Saul’s life. 

It’s important to note, this isn’t the first time David spared his life. This happened before where Saul had entered the very cave David and all his men were taking rest in. It was a large cave and they were set way back so Saul couldn’t see them when he paused to rest. He was by himself; again no guards to protect him. David snuck up and cut off the edge of his robe and in like manner made it known publicly after Saul left that he had every opportunity and chose to honor him as the anointed king. 

David didn’t kill Saul when he could have. He took some of his personal items that were right next to his head making it known he could have easily taken his life but chose not to. He also made it known Saul’s army was not doing what they were called to do-they failed but for the grace of God shown through David, their king would have been slain on their watch. Saul knew David was much more a man of integrity and honor then he was showing. He knew David was truly acting in the Spirit of God. 

 

1 Samuel 26:21 21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”

David showed great value for the life of Saul because God’s anointing had been upon him. He put his life and God’s anointing higher than any revenge he was feeling towards Saul.  This kept David’s heart pure and kept the root of bitterness and rage from building up inside of him. This made way for the Spirit to flow through him.

The apostle Paul teaches us to be very careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit. That means to keep ourselves free of anger, bitterness, slander, back-biting and the like because then we are hindering the Spirit from flowing and manifesting through us.

Remember as Christians we no longer live for self; we live as a new creation in Christ. 

Ephesians 4: 30-32 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

This is what David understood and prayed against. He saw first-hand the effects and downward spiral of someone who grieved the Spirit of God and let bitterness and anger take root in their heart. He loved God and had far too much reverence for Him to let that happen. Let us follow David and when faced with opposition, let us choose character always over revenge.                

   

  • Long for God’s Anointing Over Power

David knew he had been anointed by God through Samuel years prior. He also understood the timing as to when he would step in and serve as king was up to God, not him. He knew full well he would need God’s grace to carry that much responsibility and he did not want that position or authority until God decided he was ready and God was surely with him. He was still a younger man and knew there would be plenty of time to serve as king as God would have him. He knew until God gave him the crown, he did not want it. It was like Moses had said years before, “if your presence does not go with us, then do not send us up from here.”  He knew it would be to their peril to go anywhere without the presence and favor of God with them.

So David would wait until God declared it was time for him to be king. He would trust in God and cherish the anointing God had placed upon him-honoring it more than any worldly power he could acquire.  David’s greatest desire was always to be in the will of God and under His covering. 

Let us remember this truth and have the same position in our heart to long for the anointing of God on our lives over any position, status or goal we are striving for. It’s His anointing that will bring blessing, favor and protection in our lives and we surely don’t want to push for something if He hasn’t called us to it or given us the green light. 

 

Psalm 37: 7-9 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

 

This is what Saul said to David the first time he spared Saul’s life. Saul knew full well the anointing of God was upon David. He had seen it all along. He just hadn’t honored it.

1 Samuel 24: 16-20 16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud. 17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.

This was the first time David spared Saul’s life. Saul repented momentarily…but then allowed the root of jealousy to take hold once more. He could not extend the same honor to David as David did to him. He could not honor the anointing and call on David’s life, even though he could see it clearly. For that, Saul lived a miserable life for his remaining days, never with joy, without peace and certainly no favor from God.  

 

  • God Will Defend His Anointed

There were no real winners in this fight that dragged on for far too long. David lost so much from being able to live peacefully with his family, in his hometown, in a home…and Saul lost everything eventually, including his life. 

 

Isn’t that how it is with all of us when we come against one another in such division? There are no winners on either side-not really.

There are wakes of destruction, hurt, loss and suffering left to deal with. One side, one person, one group may feel a momentary win, but is it really? Until we realize when some of us hurt, we all hurt; when some of us experience loss, it’s a loss for all of us; when some of us are suffering, we are all suffering as a people and a nation… the battles will rage on. Just like they did with Saul and David. We have to look at the whole, at all of us as one people. Not that we’ll ever be of one ideal all sharing the same thoughts-nor would we even want that; but we must be of one heart and one purpose.

As Christians we must speak and let our actions show we are one in spirit, one in Body, one in purpose-to love and care for one another-even when we disagree on temporal things. Otherwise, how will this nation and world ever know who Jesus is? It’s up to us to show the world who He is by emulating our teacher-our Messiah. 

There will be times we it will feel like the world or certain people are coming against us in our lives. David certainly lived that. But he never lost sight or hope in the truth that God will always defend His anointed and the faithful. He could find peace in that truth and continue to live in the way God was calling him to know God would protect him and extend His favor to all David did in the name of the Lord. We must believe the same.

Trust in the truth that God will defend those He anoints and calls. He will protect the faithful and extend His favor to all that they put their hand to when its to His glory and honor. 

David also understood the losses that were felt were losses for the entire nation and he would choose actions to honor God and uphold the anointing on someone else-even when Saul had fallen so far. It would not be David who would dishonor the one God had appointed for service.  This is what David said to Saul as he made him aware of what could have happened….again. 

 

1 Samuel 26: 22-24 22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. 24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.”

David also said: 

 Psalm 20:6 Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.

 

Conclusion:  David’s patience had been tested. He could have easily taken revenge on Saul or held bitterness in his heart. Instead, he chose to model the character of God. David loved God and trusted in Him to bring divine justice and favor to every problem. David did not long to be a man in authority; rather a man anointed by God’s authority. May we follow his example and honor God’s anointing at all levels, in all places and make reflecting the heart of God our greatest priority.  

Let’s pray. Father we thank You that You alone are sovereign. You are the one who changes the seasons and the times. You appoint kings in their positions for Your purposes. You defend Your anointed who remain faithful and true to You. Help me to be true Father. Help me remain faithful. Help me to honor others You have called and let me follow the godly example of David. Help me to always choose character over revenge when I feel wronged by someone else. In Jesus’ name we trust and pray. Amen. 

Final Blessing: Psalm 121: 7-8 The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

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