Summary: David got his wires crossed. When it came to taking a census, was it a holy spirit or an unholy spirit that “moved” David? Either way, David took responsibility. Four (4) ways to ‘test the spirits”.
READ FROM - 2 Sam 24:1-10 & 1 Chronicles 21:1-8
I. BOTH TEXTS THE SAME, EXCEPT FOR WHO MOVED DAVID TO TAKE THE CENSUS
A. Is It God Who Moved David? (2 Samuel 24:1 says it’s God)
“Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah."
B. Or Is It Satan Who Moved David? (1 Chron 21:1 says it’s Satan)
“Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.”
II. AN APPARENT CONTRADICTION THAT PROBABLY ISN’T A CONTRADITION
A. In 2 Samuel, Satan may have already been “moving” David’s heart & David really wanted it. God may have been exasperated and said, “Whatever…do it”
B. God may have been really saying in 2 Samuel 24:1 - “This isn’t my ultimate will, but my permissive will won’t block your free will – so whatever – do it.”
III. REGARDLESS, NOTICE THAT IN BOTH TEXTS, DAVID TOOK RESPONSIBILITY
“And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD,"I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly." (Samuel 24:10)
“And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly." (1 Chron 21:8)
IV. MOST CHRISTIANS WANT TO BE “LED OF GOD" – BUT IT CAN BE CONFUSING
1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because false prophets have gone out into the world...”
A. Sometimes Leadings Are From Holy Spirit
1. Psalm 23 “He leads me...”
2. Matthew 4:1 - Jesus led into wilderness by H.S.
3. Acts 16 “Macedonian call” of Paul & Silas
B. Sometimes Leadings Are From Unholy Spirit
1. Satan is capable of issuing his own leadings
2. Biblical examples
a. 1 Timothy 4:1 - many follow after deceiving spirits
b. Matthew 24:24 - leadings deceiving even the elect
3. Same spirit that led Adam & Eve to eat of fruit
C. Sometimes Leadings Are From One’s Own Unbridled Desires
V. HOW CAN I BE SURE THIS LEADING IS FROM GOD? 4 CRITERIA:
A. Is it Consistent With Scripture?
1. All leadings from God consistent with Word of God
2. Leading to _______ is never from God - Word of God forbids it
a. cheat on an exam / exaggerate to a customer
b. spread hurtful gossip / deceive your parents
3. Man won lawsuit - tithe - felt “led” to make gift a matter of public info:
“When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matt 6:3-4)
4. TEST THE SPIRITS!
B. Is It Consistent With How God Has Gifted You?
1. A leading consistent with God’s Word may still not be sent by H.S.
a. just because Bible doesn’t forbid it
b. doesn’t mean H.S. is sanctioning it for your life
2. If you sense leading contrary to way God made you
a. test it carefully
b. may be of God, may not be
c. God may be asking you to stretch into new areas to discover & grow in your own unique gifts
d. or might be enemy’s distraction - to keep you from doing what God has already called you to do previously?!?
3. TEST THE SPIRITS!
C. Is It Consistent With Servanthood?
1. Your leading
a. may be consistent with Bible
b. may be consistent with your gifts & talents
c. but may not be consistent with the way he wants you to use your gifts & talents
2. Jesus tempted in wilderness
a. no Scripture forbids turning stones to bread
b. had gifts & power to turn stones to bread
c. but stones to bread inconsistent with servanthood
d. Jesus gifted not to meet his own needs but needs of others
3. Counterfeit leadings often easy to discern - easy for others to discern but difficult for the one with the “leading” to discern
4. Watch out if lead promises $$, fame, perks, toys
5. Trustworthy lead = humbling self, serving, encouraging
6. TEST THE SPIRITS!
D. Does It Employ Good Wisdom?
1. Carefully test any leading that
a. require you to make rushed, life-changing decisions
b. require you to go deeply into debt
c. require you to put someone in position of compromise / danger
d. when shared for advice, creates unrest in spirit of mature counselor, pastor, parents, or trusted spiritual advisor