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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quiet Time: Ambushed By Ambition

Ambushed By Ambition

Read: 2 Samuel 4:1-12

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:9

Worship leader is a misnomer in that we really lead no one, we simply serve the King. Our ambition is to please the One we sing for and to become one with the congregation (which includes His pastor) in preparing hearts to hear God’s heart. Ishbosheth had a couple of family members whose ambition was to please the king too. Unfortunately, they didn’t see Ish as the king to serve.

Ishbosheth was Saul’s son and heir to the throne of Israel. Abner was the general of his army. When Abner died by the murderous hand of Joab, king Ishbosheth lost his courage. Obviously he’d placed his faith in a man not in God. (That’s a message in itself)

Baanah and Rechab were relatives of Ishbosheth through the tribe of Benjamin and commanders in his army. Not good. These guys snuck up to Ish’s house and murdered him in his bed while he took an afternoon siesta. They then cut off his head to prove that they did it and presented it to David (the king anointed and appointed by God) hoping for a reward. I’m sure they thought that they’d just killed the new king’s number one enemy. To add validity to their actions, they acted like God wanted it done (2 Sam. 4:8).
Bad idea. David didn’t consider Saul or his son’s as enemies. In fact, Jonathan, Saul’s eldest son, was once David’s best friend! The other problem was the fact that they didn’t defeat Ishbosheth in battle, they murdered him in his bed…while he slept…unguarded, unarmed, and unaware that his own family members were out to kill him. And you thought you had family issues!

David, being a man after God’s own heart, did what he knew God demanded and immediately enacted the death penalty, having his warriors kill Rechab and Baanah right where they stood.
Now, had we asked Rick and Ben if they’d really heard a word from God telling them to kill their cousin in his sleep like a couple of cowards, I hope they’d say, “Well, no God didn’t talk to us straight up, but we saw that Ish was out and Dave was in.” I’m sure they liked their positions as commanders with Ish and probably hoped to be promoted in David’s army or may-be even placed in a position of prominence next to the throne, where, if they were patient, they’d have a chance to do to David what they did to their cuz and take the throne for themselves. Alright, alright, so my imagination is running away with me, but you get the picture. These guys went with whatever got them ahead for the moment. Their motivation was anything but doing God’s will. They tried to use God instead of allowing God to use them. (Another message in itself)

A servant’s ambition is to be used in the service of his Lord. We call ourselves worship leaders, but the fact is, we lead no one; we simply serve with the gifts and talents God has given us. We work hard at our craft and practice songs ahead of time so that we don’t flub up the God moments. OK, so may-be it’s a bit more than that, but one of the great things about being a worship minister is that you’re always in a support role, singing for Someone greater than yourself. Through all of this singing we slowly, steadily prepare our hearts for the Word as brought forth by His preacher. The Holy Spirit then uses all of this preparation to teach us what God wants in our lives, and then He empowers us to do it. "Doing it" is called serving Him, and that brings us back to our ambition…to glorify God!

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