Beware of Spiritual Justifiers and Scriptural Manipulators

Read I Samuel 26:1-31:13

Beware of Spiritual Justifiers and Scriptural Manipulators

“Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin King Saul to the
ground with one thrust of my spear; I won’t need to strike him twice.”
Abishai to David, I Samuel 26:8

“Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?
As surely as the LORD lives, the LORD himself will strike him; either his time
will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the
LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed.”
David to Abishai, I Samuel 26:9-11

Go Deep: You can justify pretty much anything you want to do from Scripture, but that doesn’t mean what you want to do is Scripturally justifiable!

The scary thing is, all kinds of well-intentioned people will line up to give you the green light in such matters. They’ll quote scripture, point out how circumstances have aligned in just the right way, and convince you of just how reasonable and right a certain course of action might be. But the problem is, God is not in the thing you want to do.  And to go ahead with your plan will move you out from under the blessing of God, at best, and at worst, lead to disaster down the road.

God’s people do this all the time. They convince themselves that what they want to do is God’s will when it is not, and get any number of well-wishers to justify their plans when those plans are not God’s plans.  That is why we see so many believers divorcing their spouse, going into business with an unbeliever, investing Kingdom resources in uncertain adventures, and moving forward with any number of good and godly sounding actions when, in fact, those plans are nothing more than their own will being done.

David was discerning enough to spot this kind of spiritual justification when it came up.  What his confidant, Abishai, suggested seemed as right as rain on its face, but David knew that no matter how many spiritually sounding justifications could make it sound like the obvious thing to do, it would never have passed the scriptural smell test, it would have violated the inner voice of the Spirit, and it would have rushed God’s sovereign timing for resolving this issue and bringing about his perfect plan for David’s life.

Be wary of spiritual justifiers, and likewise, be on alert for scriptural manipulators.  Know the whole counsel of God’s Word, pay attention to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit who is there to continually guide you into divine truth, and never try to squeeze what God ultimately wants to do in your life into your methodology and timing.  That, my friend, never turns out well.

Here is the much better approach; it’s the one found in the sage advice of Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG),

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!

Just Saying… Here is something that John Calvin said that is worth considering: “Therefore the Christian heart, since it has been thoroughly persuaded that all things happen by God’s plan, and that nothing takes place by chance, will ever look to him as the principal causes of things, yet will give attention to the secondary causes in their proper place.”


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