The danger of feeling good

(MOUNT ZION COMMUNITY CHURCH)

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1 Samuel 15, 16, 17

The life of king Saul is like a rollercoaster. There are times when he obeys God and there are times when his disobedience makes God sorry for appointing him as king. Even though God had rejected him as king when Saul took upon himself the responsibility of sacrificing to the Lord as it was clearly forbidden; we see Saul having great victories against His enemies. The Lord still continues to use him for accomplishing great things. In 1 Samuel 15 we see God asking Saul to complete the judgement against the Amalekites, demanding Sault o destroy everything. Saul disobeys God but allowing king Agag to live with the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, fat calves and lambs. The excuse was that they would be used as sacrifices to the Lord. This is where the judgement is pronounced: 

“What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” – 1 Samuel 15: 22, 23 It must have been painful for Saul to hear these words. And yet all that he cares about is his public figure: “I know I have sinned. But please, at least honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel by coming back with me so that i may worship the Lord your God.” 

There are times when we are confronted with our sin, we are deeply convicted and yet all we think is about what people would say. That shows we are not prepared for repentance. We feel sorry for what we’ve done but we try to keep it private in case our image gets tarnished. The pain of God’s conviction must lead to repentance. The moment we try to kill it, we miss our chance to repent.

Imagine you have a tooth ache. You may be o.k. for a while by taking painkillers and try to avoid feeling the pain, but we all know painkillers don’t deal with the cause of pain. In life we may try to avoid repentance by doing all sorts of things in order to kill the pain of sinning, but we must know the sin will still remain. In chapter 16 verse 14 we read: “Now the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul, and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.” Saul begins to feel the pain of sinning before God. The best for him is to see what caused the Spirit of God to leave and deal with it by repenting. Instead, he calls for a musician to make him feel better. He avoids the pain and misses the chance to deal with it. Look at verse 23: “And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.” This implies that very soon after David would stop playing the evil spirit would return and torment Saul.

Imagine how awful must be to know the cure but refusing to use it. It’s like someone who refuses to go to the dentist knowing in order to be well you must deal with the pain. Saul refuses to repent and deal with his sin by trying to feel good about himself. We are like that sometimes.

Think about it. There are times when God allows pain in our lives to draw our attention to the fact we have sinned. Not all pain is because of personal sin, but there are times when God makes a point. What do we do? Instead of dealing with it, we go and try everything to make us feel better. We listen to Christian music, go to church or even read the Bible but all these to make us feel better about ourselves instead of simply dealing with the sin no matter how painful it might be.

We all are afraid of pain, but in fact try to imagine how our lives would be if there was no pain. You will never know when you’re tired and need to rest, or when something is not right with your body. Pain is a warning and a signal that something must be done. If you ignore it, the problem gets worse from day to day. It’s the same with sin, the more you ignore it the more you make it worse until it gets out of control.

Deal with the pain, deal with your sin!

Tags: Faith God sin Feeling Pain Confession Religion


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