How Spiritual Vagabonds are Born

March 17
The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord's anointed,
to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.
So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow the to rise against Saul.
1 Samuel 24:6-7

"God often places us in uncomfortable places and under increasing pressure 
so that we may be shaped by His love and refining fire."
John Bevere

David's heart rang true to what the Lord knew it to be!  David realized God had chosen Saul, and even though Saul had become a rotten egg, David left him to the Lord's bidding.

This was such a powerful chapter in The Bait of Satan as to how the enemy can cause turmoil in our hearts toward the church where God has placed us.  Bevere makes the comment that churches are not cafeterias where we pick what we like and if there is something we don't like we just up and leave and go looking elsewhere.  He used the Biblical story of Samuel being under the authority and tutelage of a corrupt priest named Eli.  There were two wicked sons on the scene as well who took offerings by manipulation and force and were fornicators.  How long would we last under such a minister?

Bevere's asks: "Did Samuel go look for another place to worship?  Did he go to the elders to expose the wickedness of Eli and his sons?  Did he form a committee to put Eli and his sons out of the pastorate? No, he ministered to the Lord!  God had placed Samuel there, and he was not responsible for the behavior of Eli or his sons. He was put under them not to judge them but to serve them. He knew Eli was God's servant, not his. He knew God was quite capable of dealing with His own."

I will be honest. I'm struggling with this concept.  We were in a church for years not realizing our pastor was having an affair with a church member for 15 years, all the while counseling others who were struggling in their own marriages.  Do I believe God is sovereign and exposed this travesty in His perfect timing?  I guess so. :-)
For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace.
Isaiah 55:12

Whew, many people "go out" grumbling, slinging complaining words and stirring up chaos, not peace, in the body of Christ.  Do we pray for the protection of our church and church leaders daily?  We should pray for our church family as much as we pray for our biological family.

The questions posed at the end of this day's devotional are an excellent self check.

1) Do I run from God's refining pressure?
2) Do I complain under pressure?
3) Do I justify my sin and condemn sin in others?  (Now there's a biggie.)
4) Do I expect spiritual leaders to be perfect when I am not?   
5) Am I willing to listen to God and wait on His leading?  (May the proof be in the pudding.)
6) Am I willing to leave in PEACE?

Let's Pray:
Father, thank You for establishing the institution of the church.  May we count it a huge blessing to have a place to go to worship you and bring you our tithe for the advancement of the Kingdom.  We pray today for the leaders of our churches to be filled with wisdom and keep their hearts clean. Anoint the pulpits of churches world wide and may truth be taught in love.  May we be sewers of peace and not kindlers of discord. Lord, grow our churches!  In Jesus' Name, Amen