April 22

Luke 18:18-43

The rich, young ruler did not follow Christ, but chose to rely on himself and his riches. Jesus said it is hard for wealthy people to enter into the kingdom of God because of the self-sufficiency; however, He said all things are possible with God. It is possible for people to be prosperous and still be reliant on God.

From a church leadership perspective, all of us are required to be dependent. All of us are required to obedience. The wealthy are not to be treated differently with special privileges, as if they are more valuable than someone without means; nor should they be expected to carry the financial weight of a ministry on their shoulders. EVERYONE is to do their share. Participation is a heart issue, not a money issue.

In verses 31-34, Jesus pulls the twelve disciples aside to tell them again that He would die and rise again on the third day, but the disciples did not grasp what Jesus was saying. In verse 34, it says this saying was HIDDEN from them. Hidden was a term that meant it wasn’t revealed to them. Obviously, Jesus wanted them to understand – if not then, He wanted them to remember His words so they could recognize His heart for them, realize His purpose, and accept their mission after He ascends into Heaven.

In verses 35-43, Jesus heals a blind man. After the miracle, the blind man followed Christ and gave glory to God. One, he followed Him because he COULD. Jesus healed a disability so the man could see Him to follow Him. This is a physical miracle, no doubt, but there is also a spiritual truth here, too. When God heals us of any disability or dysfunction, whether physical, mental, or emotional, that wholeness also gives us freedom. Two, the people were witnesses of what the Lord had done, and the miracle drew them to Jesus.

For our lives, if there is any disability or dysfunction in us, let’s continually be going to Jesus to make us whole so we can live free. In addition, let’s let our miracle draw other people to know His love, healing, and freedom as well!

2 Samuel 4-6

Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, partially ruled in Saul’s position over some of Israel for a short time; however, after his death, David reigns over all of Israel. David never forced his way into a position; he let God do it. There are times when our faith leans on the Lord to bring His purpose to pass, and our determination is to keep surrendered in integrity. People may come and go, but our hope is focused on the Lord to bring it to pass.

In addition, David was determined not to force an anointed leader out of office. He would not have a part in removing Saul or Saul’s son. David honored authority, even when that authority was against him.

David is anointed for a third time. The first was by Samuel in Jesse’s home. The second was in Judah after Saul’s death. The third is here in chapter 5:3 over all of Israel, not just Judah. There is nothing wrong with a fresh anointing. The anointing is the power of the Spirit to accomplish what needs to be done. Today we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, and He is always empowering us with what we need for the task at hand.

David was thirty when he began to reign and ruled as Israel’s king for 40 years (7 years over Judah and 33 years over the entire nation).

One of David’s first missions is to take Jerusalem, which becomes known as “the city of David,” which is also a reference to Christ as the Son of David. Once David was in place in Jerusalem, the Philistines were defeated. There has always been a correlation with the enemy’s power over the nation when the right authority was not in place.

The ark of the covenant is returned to Jerusalem, again, we see pivotal matters coming into alignment when rightful authority is in place. Let me tell you, the enemy works very hard to keep people from trusting and serving God’s appointed leader, then and now.

David did not take the credit for taking Jerusalem, defeating the Philistines, or bringing the ark back to the holy city. David gave God the glory for His purpose coming to pass. His dancing was more than a display of happiness; his dancing was worship to glorify God.

Michal, Saul’s daughter, who had been given to another man in marriage, confronts David. This is not an insignificant matter. This is the daughter of the previous king. She was not only disregarding the importance of the ark returning to Jerusalem, but she was also despising David taking the throne away from her family. She was disrespectful of God’s hand on David and the authority that God delegated to the new king. As consequence to her insubordination and dishonor, she remained barren throughout her life. She brought judgment on herself for not honoring the Lord by dishonoring the man in authority.

David was not a haughty, self-sufficient leader. He was humble, living a life of dependency on the Lord, serving God and people. After the confrontation with his ex-wife, David was determined to become even more humbled before God.

Let’s learn to honor authority, whether we agree with their decisions or not. I feel like I also need to say that submission doesn’t include allowing yourself to be abused by a leader. I have ministered to a few battered wives, and I am confident that God wants those women to be safe from harm. Authoritarians are abusive leaders, and they might try to reinforce their domination by telling their followers to obey God and submit to their leadership. This becomes a religious control, using God as a tool of their manipulation and abuse. Let’s remember that David didn’t stay in Saul’s house. When Saul was abusive, David withdrew from Him and put his trust in God. David loved Saul, he honored Saul, but he also left Saul. Look to God to know when it is time to submit and when it is time to protect yourself and others. God wants you to be safe and living in His abundant life!

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