1 Samuel 8:20
“That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”
The beginning of Israel’s demise is found in the verse above when they rejected the LORD’s leadership in their lives by demanding a king. They didn’t want a king to lead them closer to the LORD, but they wanted a king so they could be like “all the nations.” Their premise for a king was based on a faulty desire. Sadly, when you look at Israel, though they still had several years of being close to the LORD, it was from this point when Israel’s demise began.
The Christian is very capable of seeing the same demise as Israel. It is always sad to see a Christian who is on fire for the LORD make the same decisions that led to Israel’s demise. The goal and desire of every Christian should always be to see growth and avoid any demise in their relationship with the LORD. Several decisions are revealed in the verse above which must be avoided if you want to stay clear from demise in your relationship with the LORD.
First, if you want to keep from demise, you must avoid personality-driven focus. Israel wanted a king over them instead of submitting to God’s leadership. Any Christian who becomes personality driven instead of Divine driven always finds their Christianity in demise. You cannot allow personalities or institutions to be your focal point for beliefs. Your belief system must be Christ-centered if you want to keep a close relationship with the LORD.
Second, if you want to keep from demise, you must avoid world-likeness. Israel wanted to be “like all the nations.” The world must never be used to measure your Christianity. Israel wanted to be liked by the nations surrounding them which caused them to desire a king. A Christian should never desire the favor of the world, but they should always desire the favor of Christ. Christlikeness should be the goal of every Christian instead of world-likeness.
Third, if you want to keep from demise, you must have holy judgment instead of peer judgment. Israel wanted a king to determine what was right and wrong instead of going to God’s Word to make their judgments. My friend, be careful about basing your beliefs system on your peers. Always let the Word of God be your system to judge whether your actions and lifestyles are right. Too many Christians base what they do by their friend’s lifestyle, but that always leads to demise. The final authority for every Christian should be the Word of God.
Fourth, if you want to keep from demise, you must not be afraid to stand for right even if you must personally fight the battles. Avoiding battles at all costs leads to demise. Too many Christians are like Israel who wanted someone else to fight their battles. Israel wanted a king to fight their battles so they could stay at home. Christian, every generation is going to have to fight the battles for truth if the next generation is going to enjoy the Christianity that was given to us. A passive mentality towards compromise always leads to greater compromise. Your children need to see that truth is worth fighting for. Your children measure how important truth is by whether you stand for truth when it is attacked. The demise of Christianity always begins when the goal is peace at all costs even when truth is attacked. If your Christianity is going to avoid demise, you must have the fortitude to fight no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.