2 Samuel 15:4 – “Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.” NKJV
Almost sounds like a politician doesn’t it? The more I study the more I love the Bible and how it deals with every aspect of life and opens the door to examination of character flaws and offers hope for a resolution. The Bible is filled with accounts of incredible exploits of some of the most notable characters in human history. It gives a clear record of a number of men who had tremendous potential and seemed destined for greatness only to fall through character failures. As we begin to examine the account of “Absalom”, it becomes painfully apparent that this man represented a life of incredible promise. In fact, we would say, the sky was the limit and yet, in the final analysis, it is the epitome of utter failure.
You must remember that Absalom was the heir to David’s throne. He was known far and wide for his physical characteristics, good looks and charming ways that made him incredibly popular. He had natural abilities beyond what most possess and everyone expected him to ascend to the throne when David died. The greatest requirement for this to become reality was:
- He must WAIT, patiently and loyally.
- He must SUBMIT to proper and established authority.
It was a matter of “IF”… If he could only have learned the steps to leadership. If he could only suppress the urge, compulsion, and driving desire to be the head and defy authority. He was a man unrestrained, self-centered, egotistical, and self-serving. IF he could do those things HE WOULD BE KING and likely be great in the kingdom.
Matthew 23:12 – “And whosoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Absalom failed to humble himself so he was humbled and because he was humbled but not humble he was not exalted.)
The Kingdom of God is not a Kingdom of POSITIONS it is the Kingdom of FUNCTION. It is never and will never be about place, position, or personal recognition. It is about SUBMISSION and FUNCTION and whenever a person begins to think of him or herself and their gifts and abilities to the point of elevating themselves to co-equals or higher than God there is trouble brewing and the storm will come. Conflict always follows self-exaltation and while it is not visible in today’s church there is an order that God has established and a clear means of settling disputes. There is NEVER a place for “Sowing Discord.”
Any person who desires to be in a position of AUTHORITY must first be in a place of SUBMISSION. There are no shortcuts that produce lasting results or relationships. There is no exception to this rule in the Kingdom of God or in any dimension of life. “He who will not follow and submit to human authority will not submit to divine authority.” It is IMPOSSIBLE to truly lead until you have first learned to follow. To be successful in the Kingdom of God one must be in COMPLETE SUBMISSION to God, willing to be the lowest for Christ’s sake and the Kingdom. It is in this state of submission that we find ourselves also in submission to God’s chosen human authority over us.
Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable to you.”
Leadership in a local assembly carries an incredible and daunting responsibility. The accountability to God is unmistakable and should be a fearful thing. One of the most difficult things for people in a democratic society to comprehend is that God establishes leaders and removes leaders Himself. Daniel 2:21 – “And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to the wise men, and knowledge to the men of understanding.” If we truly believed and trusted God, we would pray for the leadership not just about the leadership and God would raise them up or bring them down. Prime examples can be seen early in the Bible in Numbers 16 with the rebellion of Korah and in Numbers 17 where Aaron’s rod budded validating the leadership of Moses and Aaron. In any area of life, to lead you must be able to follow and if you want to be in authority you must first be under authority. I know some cannot accept that but that is God’s Pattern and something Absalom, the presumptive next king could not fathom or follow.
I want to say more but will pause at this juncture today and pick up in the next devotional. God bless you as you enjoy His day set before you for you to live abundantly.