The Word of God is Spirit and not just writings in a book. When we read the story of David we need to realise and appreciate that it is not just a record of historical fact but primarily a spiritual expression of the heart of all of mankind.
There’s two types of Christians
There’s two types of Christians; those who are Davids and those who are Sauls. We see this reinforced in the parable of the 10 virgins. They both start-off with Holy Spirit (the oil), but half of them lose Him. If you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, then you’re a Christian, but that doesn’t mean you’re saved. The same evidence is endorsed in the parable of the sower and the Seed. The Seed (Jesus) falls into 3 types of ground and grows, but only one type of ground produces fruit. Judas had the Holy Spirit and so did Samson; they both lost the Holy Spirit, but the outcome was different for Samson.
The camp of David
Everybody wants to be a David, but they don’t want the hassle pathway that David had to take. The point of the Word of God is that to be a David you have to walk the same path, and to be a saved Christian you have to walk the same path of suffering as Christ; the path of being misjudged for doing the right thing, the path of separation from those who oppose the truth, the path of being hated for doing good, or the path of having to give up your position. If you read the Psalms, they’re all about the worship of God and thankfulness towards Him, or they’re about enemies, both within his camp and without, who are trying to destroy him.
Jesus is of the lineage of David. This is not just a heritage thing; it’s primarily a spiritual issue. He didn’t choose his lineage just because he was a king, otherwise Jesus would not have been born in a manger. By deliberately choosing to be of the lineage of David, Jesus was signifying that the spiritual path of opposition to David is the same spiritual pathway of opposition to Christ and the same spiritual pathway of opposition for all those who want to follow Christ.
Salvation is only via the cross. The pathway of the master is the pathway of the servant. The servant is not above his master. Every Christian is in the camp of Saul until they come to the cross. You can’t just make up your mind to swap camps; it’s only at the cross; whether it’s the pain of being misjudged for doing the right thing, being blamed for having done nothing wrong, or being held in contempt for following your Christ-like conscience.
You can have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (He’s not restricted by your lack of faith or even your false faith), but you’re not saved until you come to the cross of self-death (just like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress). You’re not saved by inviting Jesus into your heart; rather you’re saved when you die to what you want and only live for what the Master wants.
Every Christian thinks they’ve done this, but the proof is in the pudding. Only when you’re faced with sacrificing what you truly do want (which generally you don’t know till God brings you face-to-face with it) can you move to the plane of salvation via your cross.
What this means is that your will has to be constantly and unconditionally surrendered to God’s will. Until you bend your will to God’s will, you’re not saved. The opposite of giving up your will is to retain the right to do it your way, and Satan will bombard you with temptations to fear God’s will.
The camp of Saul
Sauls can’t handle David being more popular.
Sauls need compliments and can’t handle contradictions, criticisms or corrections against their opinion. They have to look good in the eyes of the people. They may start off meek but they soon warm to the elevated position and surreptitiously their heart turns to themselves and away from God. They often live by rules and what’s right, even the Ten Commandments, but can’t be told they’re wrong and can’t take correction. Correction is equated as rejection. Consequently, their heart actually deceives itself and becomes stubborn and rebellious, and they come under the spirit of lying and practice subtle deception and ignorantly believe in superstition (if I do this, I will get that) and ultimately, witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).
Sauls are stubborn-minded and stubborn-willed. Sauls have to do it their own way; they don’t like to be told; they like to figure it out for themselves. They argue that they have the right to figure it out for themselves; but, really what they’re saying is, don’t tell me what to do; I’ll do it my way.
Sauls are swelled up with the importance of their own position, so when Samuel suggests that they’ve done it the wrong way, Sauls defend themselves by blaming others and by justifying that what they’ve done is right. Instead of respecting the prophet’s authority, Sauls have deduced that if you don’t agree with my thinking then you’re the fool, you’re the one who’s ignorant, you’re the one who’s blind, not me.
Sauls believe that if you hurt me, I have the right to hurt you back; and Sauls believe that if you hurt my feelings then you’re bad, and you’re wrong. Thus, Sauls have moods whenever you upset their feelings; but the real purpose of the mood is to make you feel bad so you will surrender to their demands.
Sauls act by their own judgment; they do not walk by faith, but rather by what they think is right. Even though Sauls may act generous, may appear happy and may enjoy being helpful, the truth is, Sauls are too proud to be corrected, too proud to forgive, bossy, and too stubborn to be told they’re wrong.
The camp of Saul is the camp of self-righteousness, whereas the camp of David is the camp of God’s righteousness. That is, God’s rightness, God’s ability and God’s goodness, not mine. Davids know that it’s nothing to do with me; it’s all Him.
The trigger that stirs Saul spirits to change from meekness, is envy. Sauls can’t handle someone else being accoladed more than them.
What’s the problem with being a Saul?
Envy (1 Samuel 18:8) drives a Saul away from God and into the camp of witchcraft and then under the influence and control of a demon, then you’ll lose your right mind, and ultimately find yourself in hell. The stubbornness of Saul separates Saul from God (1 Samuel 16:14). This pattern started in the Garden of Eden, and nothing’s changed. If you allow envy into your heart and refuse to own it with repentance, you will not find heaven; it will take you to hell; and that’s the plan of Satan … self-destruction by self-rightness.
Jonathans agree and even support David but they prefer to stay in the camp of Saul. Saul’s camp is bigger and safer and more acceptable. David’s camp is outside the acceptable religious structure. Jonathans choose to stay with their father’s belief even though they know it’s wrong, because they need their father’s approval.
Why stay in the camp of Saul?
- Safety in numbers. The Orthodox churches considered the Pentecostal church, a cult, but when it increased in numbers it became an acceptable religion. Homosexuality was considered illegal, but now that it has publically increased in numbers it’s become an acceptable normal sexuality. People’s judgment is controlled by numbers and money. Where numbers and money dictate people’s decision, they have simply defaulted to the control of the spirit of the anti-christ. “He loved me, but not enough” is the catch-cry in Sense and Sensibility. Willoughby gave up his love for position and money. The comforts of his lifestyle and the temptation to look good in the eyes of others were too appealing, and thus he showed that he really loved himself . Like Willoughby, Sauls say and act loving but when it comes to the crunch they choose position over love for God.
- Social interaction. Humans are social beings and the church has been traditionally considered a safe place to interact with other humans; but that’s no longer the case … paedophilia and homosexuality, divorce and fornication are intertwined into the fabric of every religion and every church.
More chance of being elevated to a higher position and recognised by more people.
Scared to change camps. Religion controls people through their fears. People are too lazy to search the Scriptures for themselves. I believe because they don’t really want to find the hard way. They like the status quo; it suits their lifestyle, and any deviation from the status quo would make me look bad in the eyes of others.
Indoctrinated by parents to believe in self-value
Using the church as a hospital for all my hurts and expecting people to listen to me and be understanding of my needs.
It’s no coincidence that Santa is the most valued figure at Christmas time. He’s the one with the goodies. Most Christians live in the Santa Claus syndrome believing if they’re good then God will give them nice things and remove all the hassles from their path. Most Christians believe that good gets rewarded with good. The whole focus is on what’s the deal for me and every deed is manipulated around that self-focus. They live in the belief that their goodness will save them because God is a nice God and surely He wouldn’t possibly reject ME. These are the Sauls. They’re not focussed on Christ; they’re focussed on what God can do for me. God is worshipped for the feelings, benefits and rewards. Their life is a pretence, full of envy of anyone else’s higher favouritism and anyone else’s happiness.
Can you change camps?
If you want to survive you have to leave the camp of Saul. Even Samuel had to leave Saul. You can’t stay in the camp of Saul and pretend you are a David; it’s a contradiction.
To change camps you have to give up what links you to Saul; what benefits you get by being in Sauls’ camp. They have to be put on the altar. There’s a price to change camps; it’s not for free. You can’t buy your way in with money or good deeds, but you do have to give your whole heart.
To change camps you have to forgive like a child, trust like a child, and be corrected like a child. Like the thief on the cross, you can’t swap camps by being good, but only via the bridge of repentance for your self-righteousness.
Why join the camp of David?
The people who joined themselves to David were the inferior ones … distressed, in debt, and discontent (1 Samuel 22:2). You can join yourself to David’s camp because you’re lost and lonely and David offers stability and responsibility, but if you don’t humble yourself by faith in the Lord Jesus you’re just using David for you and you will still miss out. You have to be a David, not just be in David’s camp, like Judas was in Jesus’ camp.
You can only become a David by giving up the fight to protect and promote you.
Stop worrying about you & think about God instead. If He is the creator of the universe with an earth that spins around the sun at exactly the right angle and speed; the creator of infinitely different-faced persons; and the manufacturer of infinitely different snowflakes, surely it makes sense to trust His plan. Stop operating your own back-up sub-plan in case God doesn’t come through, and commit your will to His; if you don’t it will be fatal.
May God help you take the plunge for your own sake,
Pastor Ray Simmonds