The Wood of Ephraim — OPENING ACT
“And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.”— 2 Samuel 15:12 (ESV)
In my last Freedom Fighter I began to un-wrap the root of having an “Absalom Spirit” through the actual life of King David’s son Absalom. Today I would like to continue unpacking it.
What would have made Absalom flat-out rebel against his father may have been found as deep as the sin that David committed with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah, her husband. Pretty much summing up that the treachery of this time period in history had come to roost. As some commentaries have written, Ahithophel may have been Bathsheba’s grandfather and had been harboring a disdain for David for quite some time, being Absalom’s advisor now would complete a possible vengeance against King David. But ya know something…if you wanna rebel, you’re gonna rebel. You’ll need no-one to advise you in the matter. So with that said let’s touch on the first six stages of having this behavior as listed by Dr. Dick Chase.
- An Independent Spirit…The first stage involves an attitude which takes on an independent spirit. The person no longer wants to serve the leadership but seeks recognition and a reputation. (Like the person that starts a study in their home but doesn’t list it in the church bulletin. As matter of fact, they only invite and seek out the like-minded only)
- Self-Promotion…In this stage a person will maneuver for the praise of men. II Samuel 15 tells us that Absalom stood by the gate of the city and stole the hearts of the people. (Absalom was on a handshaking campaign. Like a politician, he agreed with everyone needing solutions for their problems but he needs your vote so he could be in a position to bring solutions to your doorstep. Wolf in sheep’s clothing?)
- Spiritual Pride…As people recognize and praise the Absalom, the deceived individual begins to believe that he is more spiritual than the leaders. (They keep score, don’t they? They announce how many folks are at their private studies; the amount of people heard their version of the Gospel message and became saved; how many people seek their counsel…”I should start my own church”)
- An Offended Spirit…Fourthly, we find the Absalom falls into an offended spirit because of spiritual pride. When his ideas and gifts are not promoted by the leadership as he believes they should be, he becomes highly offended. Often he will seek others that will agree with him in his offense. (They occupy the annual church meeting with their agenda to make things better for the sake of growth in the congregation. After all, they ((and their friends at the private study)) have had this mapped out for months)
- 5. A Critical Spirit…This leads up to a critical attitude toward the leadership. At this point, almost all the decisions of the leaders are questioned and undermined to the people. Sadly, with this critical spirit, the Absalom no longer can receive any spiritual feeding or direction from the leadership. (I have often wondered if it was the person or people who get up and walk out on the Pastor’s message once he has zoned in on his delivery.)
- A Competitive Spirit…At this stage, the Absalom sets himself up in competition with the church leadership and begins to distort and misrepresent the decisions and directives the leaders are giving. (Like Absalom, they and their version of fifty chariots are lined up along the side walk leading to the church building saying things like “Can you believe what they decided at the Elders meeting last night”)
I can almost bet (if I did such a thing) that you have been exposed to this Absalom Spirit in your church. This “Absalom” doesn’t even know the damage they cause other Christians who are struggling with their faith…they may not even care. Jesus was very clear when He said a little leaven, leavens the whole lump and if you understand the Levitical law pertaining to the grain offering, leaven is an unacceptable sacrifice. So if it didn’t fly in the Tabernacle it shouldn’t fly in our Churches. I’ll finish this up in my next Freedom Fighter but until then continue to pray for your Pastor and the leadership against such a spirit to come against them. It is your reasonable service, Amen? – Chris Hughes blogs weekly for Freedom Fighter and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy
Daily Bible Reading: Matthew 15-17
Think About This: Some unstable Christians begin to doubt their church. They are notorious for causing fights in the fellowship, starting confrontations because they no longer see any evidence of the “power of God.” The evidence they seek is emotional in scope. Without the feeling, they deduce, there is no power. The truly unstable Christian, when confronted with a less emotional church, eventually stops coming to church altogether.”—Brunson & Caner
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:15-16