Community Bible Chapel
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
A place to grow.... where everybody is somebody and Jesus Christ is Lord.
2/3/13 Developing A Heart for God - Character Revealed - Character Built!
 
CS Lewis
“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is. If there are rats in a cellar, you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly.
         But the suddenness does not create the rats; it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way, the suddenness of the provocation does not make me ill-tempered; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.” 
 
Last week we started into the life of David.
          -King Saul was rejected by God, not because of his circumstances,
but because of how he reacted to them in selfish and sinful ways.
          -We focused on how unexpected God’s working in our lives is.
          -When we think He should be speaking to us, He seems silent.
          -It’s so important for us to stay focused on the “Big Picture” as we live in
                   and navigate through the circumstances of life.
                   -Keeping the eye of faith on God’s goodness and grace.
                   -Keeping a focus on the promises of God.
                   -Knowing that God is with us even when we can’t feel or see Him.
          -So you see that God is never silent - He has spoken!
          -God often seems silent to us because He isn’t telling us all the specifics of
what to do or how a decision might work out.
 -He is encouraging us to live by faith and develop a Christlike character.
-But understand that God is never silent.
          -That is the climate that we Develop a Heart for God.
         
READ I Samuel 16:14-23
X  Dealing with Spirits
          -As we read through this passage, we notice the contrast of the Spirit coming
 upon David in Verse 13 and the Spirit leaving Saul in v. 14,
and then there is this other spirit that comes to Saul.
               -So lots of questions come about all this spiritual activity.
                             -Will God take the Holy Spirit from me?
                             -Does God send and control evil spirits?
                             -Might God send an evil spirit to believers?
                             -Is this like ghost busters?
          X  Could God remove His Spirit from me?
-We read this passage and begin to think that God could lift
His Spirit from us and we’d be lost.
                             -We might support that with Samson, in Judges 16.
-After his hair was cut we read:
“the LORD had departed from him.”
                             -Or Psalm 51:11 where David prays:
                                      “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me”
                   -Let me address this with a good dose of theology.
                   -In the OT, God’s Spirit was sent to specific people, for specific
                             periods of time, and for specific tasks.
                   -When that time and task was accomplished, God’s Spirit left.
                   -God’s Spirit never permanently rested on any believer except
King David and John the Baptist.
                   -But that changes in Acts 2 in what is called Pentecost.
                   -From then through our present day, the Holy Spirit permanently
indwells all believers.
                   -There is not a single passage that tells us that God’s Spirit will be
 removed from a believer in Jesus Christ.
                   -That is one segment of what is called dispensational theology.
                             -DT says that God works in different ways in different points
of history.
                             -In the OT, God sent his Spirit on an individual for a specific time
to accomplish a specific task.
-When the task was done, the Spirit left the person.
                             -In this present dispensation, God’s Spirit indwells each and every
                                      believer and will not be removed.
                   -The moment the Spirit of God comes into the believing sinner
and they are saved, He never leaves.
                   -At that moment in time, we are baptized into the Body of Christ
                             and are sealed by the Spirit for all eternity. (Eph 4:20)
                   -God’s Word never encourages us to seek after some second baptism
of the Spirit because we already have it all at the moment
 of our salvation.
                   -God’s Word does encourage us to “live by the Spirit” because we have
a choice to make in the daily decisions we make.
                            -We can live by the Spirit or by our own selfish desires.
                   - In that context the Scripture would speak to being
“filled with the Spirit”.
                             -It’s not a second working of the Spirit, but the believers choice
to live by and not grieve the Spirit that is already present
in the believer.
 
                   -So rest assured that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have
the Holy Spirit already and He will never leave.
          X What is this evil spirit?
                    -Let me start by stating what the text points out.
                   -It is so important for us to realize that the Spirit of the Lord departed
before the evil spirit came.
                   -And the Spirit leaves Saul, not so much because of his sin,
                             but because he lacked a heart for God.
                             -Much like Adam, justifying his sin, blaming others, making excuses,
and just plain lying revealed a proud and selfish heart.
                             -In a way, grieving the Holy Spirit who had come to rest on him.
                   -So, in the absence of the Holy Spirit, God allows another spirit to come
and terrorize him.
                   -Saul fluctuates wildly between depression and anger, with huge swings
in his thinking and behavior.
                             -If he lived today, our medical community would label him bi-polar.
                   -But in Saul’s day, the modern Israelite associated everything
as coming from the hand of God.
                             -Which I think is a really good habit to be in,
because God is sovereign over all things.
-Although we have to make sure our theology is correct
          or we will end up like Job’s friends and have a very
 wrong interpretation of the circumstances.
                   -Romans 8:28 would tells us that God works
“all things together for the good of those who love Him”
                    -When we apply that passage to what David is working through,
                             we see that God used this evil spirit to bring David
into contact with Saul.
                   -It’s not the way we might do it, we might not even agree that God did it
the best way . . . we wouldn’t anoint David until after
Saul was gone and avoid all this unnecessary - awkward
time for David.
-And that’s why you and I aren’t God.
                             -Because God uses all these circumstances in David’s life to both
reveal and build David’s character.
                             -God is about the process as much as the result.
                   -And that’s the same in our lives.
                             -We don’t always think God is doing things the “right way”,
                                      which translated means: The way I would do it.
 
                                      -But rest assured that God is using all things in your life
                                                in exactly the right way that is best for you.
                             -Don’t doubt that for a moment.
                             -In those “all things” God is revealing your character
and building your character to be more like Jesus
at the same time.
                             -That’s the process.
          -And God uses others in the process as well.
X Helping Others Who Are Struggling
          -King Saul didn’t surround himself with very good people.
          -He is struggling in his own sinfulness.
                   -He disobeyed God repeatedly and then denied it and made all kinds
of excuses and blamed everybody else.
                   -And the best that his attendant can do is to recommend that
                             they hire a musician to make him feel better.
                   -In essence dealing only with the symptoms of his problems
 and not the root cause.
                   -Music might make him feel better, but that will be short lived until
he repents turns to trust God.
-When he does that, he will find mercy and grace that will truly
make him feel better for all eternity.
                   Prov. 28:13 says “He who confesses and renounces his sin finds mercy”
          -Now, I’m not trying to make any kind of judgment on music therapists,
                   but if you handed me a music CD to make me feel better in response to
 sin n my life, I’d fire you quick.
                   -Please do not pacify and make me feel better about my sin.
                   -That is the worst think you could possibly do for me.
          -Matt 18 instructs you to go to the brother in sin.
          -Right after Paul’s instructions on how to walk in the Spirit in Gal 6:1, he says
 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual
should restore him gently.”
          -Everyday, you and I run across people who are suffering, either from their sin
or the sin of other people in their lives.
          -How sad it is when we walk past and don’t bring the restorative nature of the
gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on the suffering in their lives.
          -That’s our calling as members of the Body of Christ.
                   -To be involved in each other’s lives and take the opportunity
                             to speak the truth of the Word of God into each other’s lives.
                   -Not in a legalistic way, but because we love on each other.
                   -That’s a Body that cares for one another.
                   -That’s a Body that is alive and excited about growing in Christlikeness.
 
X David Reveals Character - Builds Character!
    -Last week we talked about the silence of God in this passage.
          -God is silent in all the particulars of how exactly David will become king,
                   but God is not silent in how David is to think and act as he waits
for God to bring it about.
          -That sometimes can seem like God’s silence because we want God to give us
the particulars, but God wants to reveal our character
and build character in the same process.
          -David has to continue to do the things He knows to be true that God has
already revealed to him, and be satisfied that he is pleasing God as he
waits for God’s secret will to be revealed.
     X Obedience
          -So, here is David, the anointed king of Israel, and in the silence of God,
                   he is back out in the field, tending the sheep.
                   -If you and I were in that position, we would be trying to figure out
what God is doing.
          -But David obediently is tending his father’s sheep - character revealed.
          -Then by the grace and sovereign hand of God, there is this guy in Saul’s court
 who, after witnessing the evil spirit in Saul, says:
                   “Hey, I know this cool guy who plays harp.”
          -So they send for David to play his harp.
          - Now, hit the pause button for a moment.
                   -David doesn’t know if Saul has heard that Samuel anointed him as king.
                   -David doesn’t know if Saul is bringing him in for questioning.
                             -News travels fast and Saul already knew God rejected him.
                             -He would have been searching for his replacement.
                   -At the same time, David might be wondering how God was using this
                             to promote him to replace Saul.
                   -How does going there to play his harp fit into the program?
                   -At worst David would have been in fear of Saul
      and at best he would have been very confused in what God was doing.
          -Okay, again, David is obedient to what has been asked, and he goes.
                   -But he has some things in the suitcase of his soul that help him.
                   -Things God has already spoken that bear on this decision.
                             -He knows that God has anointed him.
                             -He knows that God is good.
                             -He knows God’s Spirit is on him.
 
                             -He knows God is sovereign and will bring about his promise
in His time and way.
                   -And so, David takes a circumstance which is scary and confusing
                             and walks into it with all the strength and encouragement
that trusting in an all powerful and good God can bring.
                   Character Built!
                   -Did David have anything that you and I don’t have in Christ?
                             -We actually have more than David had.
                   -Walking in obedience to the promises and truth of God’s Word
                             gives us the help we need to overcome fear and confusion.
       X Humility
          -In addition, David’s response reveals a very humble heart.
                    -He doesn’t pull rank on Saul.
                   -He doesn’t purposely play annoying songs to push Saul over the edge.
                   -He doesn’t show any jealousy over Saul sitting on the throne.
                   -He doesn’t talk to the other employee’s at the water cooler
about what a fool Saul is and how he could do a better job.
              -Instead, he humbly places himself under the authority of the king.
                   -Obediently playing his harp to bring comfort to the king.
                   -The text says David “entered into his service.”
                   Character Revealed!
-I need to learn from that because of my overly critical spirit that I
am working on this year says: I’m the anointed king,
what am I doing serving this fool?
                    -Learning how to deal with leadership that fails is so important
in our lives.
                             -Much like David, in the midst of failed leadership, our role is to
pray for them and do all we can to make them a success.
                             -That is humbling . . . to step up and make a leader a success.
                             -That’s Christlike character being built!
                             -It’s so important to be actively working to make your boss a
      success because of the process of building character.        
        X Patience
          -Here is one of the hardest for us to build.
                   -David is patient in waiting on God’s to bring about his plan.
                   -Patience is listed in the Fruit of the Spirit because the Spirit
 develops it in us.
                   -And although David’s character reveals patience, God is at the same time
 using this circumstance to build more patience in him.
 
                   -And this might surprise you today, but the tool that God uses to build
 patience in us is: WAITING.
                   -God doesn’t just zap us and give us patience, no in his infinite wisdom,
God builds patience by making us wait.
                             -I never pray for patience anymore because I know that God
will only make me wait longer.
                             -Instead, I pray that God would strengthen me to bring him glory
in my response as I wait for him to do whatever He might do.
                  
I’m not going to look at other area’s of character that are built in this passage
because it’s the process I’m interested in.
-Our lives are much like David’s life.
-Every circumstance in our lives reveals our character.
-And every circumstance in our lives is an opportunity to make the most of
as we build character.,
         
Let me illustrate what CS Lewis said and what we have been saying today.
          Holding a cup of water - what comes out when my arm gets bumped?
          Holding a cup of OJ - what comes out when my arm gets bumped?
          -So, if things are not going the way I think they should . . .  and anger, worry,
or doubt comes out . . . it reveals my character.
-Anger, worry, or doubt is what was already inside.
          -And if I want kindness, security, and faith to come out . . . then I have to be
 filled with the love, security, and trust in Jesus Christ.
          -That is character revealed.
 
          -The important point is that character can be changed and built.
          -The way we build character is in a renewed mind.
                   -And we renew our mind in the fact that God is not silent.
                   -He has spoken to us in the Scripture.
                   -My mind is renewed as I listen, study, and apply God’s Word into my life.
                   -So the empty cup that is spilled when I get bumped, gets filled with
                             something new . . . something wonderful . . . something the Spirit
uses to change us at the depth of our being.
                             -All the Words of Scripture, the promises, the commands,
the assurances, the history, the examples, and the life giving
      power, all flood into our heart and we become new.
                   -That is the process of Developing a Heart for God
and building Christlike Character.
 

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