1 Samuel 19
As believers in Jesus Christ, it is critical for us to understand spiritual warfare. We are in a battle. Fortunately, we know how it ends. We know that God wins. But that does not mean we can’t end up as casualties of war. Our very lives are at stake, and if we have not yet become a follower of Christ, if we “play church” without having given our lives over to Christ and been sealed by the Holy Spirit, even our eternity is at stake.
A harmful spirit came upon Saul. We don’t know whether that means he was possessed by this spirit or whether he was being prompted by it. The state of Saul’s soul is of less concern to us thousands of years after his death than our own. If you have not committed your life to Jesus, there are forces at work in this world that seek to destroy you, and you have no protection against them. They are more powerful than you are.
But they are not more powerful than Christ, who rose from the dead to prove the point that He is Supreme. His power is imbued in those who have followed Him through the Holy Spirit and, in the Holy Spirit’s power, the enemies who line up against us cannot defeat us.
But even as believers, we can fall for their deceptive schemes. We can take our eyes off God and get enraptured in things of the world – shiny trinkets that glitter like gold, but tarnish easily. Sweet treats that provide no nutritional value for our souls. Christmas is such a great illustration of how something that should glorify God can become a worldly, godless, pursuit of material idols.
Saul disobeyed God. But instead of embracing conviction, repentance, and turning back to His Savior, Saul continued down the path to his destruction. He listened to the voice that whispers lies in our ears and prompts us to be unkind, greedy, selfish, rude, envious, lazy, lustful, glutinous . . . . It’s a harmful spirit. And it comes on us all, especially at this time of year. The question is do we embrace it or turn away from it?