of Sin Against Your Assignment - Part 2
by Dr. John Tetsola
Last month we saw how sin affects our assignments, our call, and our dreams. Some believers will see and know their assignment of God from a distance, but never walk in it because of their sin. Moses’ disobedience cost him his assignment, and the penalty for Moses’ sin was receiving a vision of the Promised Land only, but never physically walking in it. This month we’ll examine the cost of sin in the lives of two kings, Saul and Uzziah. Whether through direct disobedience to God’s command or by failure to believe God and carry out His command fully, each of us will receive the penalty for our actions, which could cost us our assignments as well.
Saul Lost His Assignment Through Disobedience
And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.
But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
1 Samuel 15: 28; 1 Samuel 16: 14
An “evil spirit from God” troubled King Saul after he committed a series of disobedient acts. In one instance God had expressly commanded Saul through the prophet Samuel to utterly destroy the Amalekites—men, women, children, and cattle—to leave none alive. In direct defiance to God’s command and out of arrogance, pride, and rebellion, Saul spared the life of King Agag and kept the choice sheep and cattle. When the prophet Samuel showed up and asked Saul about the bleating of sheep, Saul blamed the people and rather than owning up to his sin, he credited himself with having kept God’s command. One of the extreme dangers of walking in willful rebellion, disobedience, arrogance, and pride is that this state brings with it strong delusion. How could Saul believe that sacrificing abominable offerings to the King of Kings would have been better than obediently following the direct orders of God, except he was delusional? How could one even intend to offer to a Holy God a detestable sacrifice that one was expressly told by God to kill, except he is deceived and out of his spiritual mind? Think about how silly and deceived Lucifer was to believe that he could actually ascend above his Creator.
Saul’s disobedience opened the flood gates in the demonic realm and released tormenting spirits into his life. Because of sin, Saul’s future was negatively transformed, and he lost his assignment in God. His fellowship with God had been broken, so he turned to the occult for a word from the Lord from an exiled fortune-teller who could only conjure up death. Saul became a raving, spear-throwing madman on a search-and-destroy mission to kill the anointed of God. In losing his assignment through disobedience Saul would realize that there was no real substitute for the plan of God in his life.
Self-deception and Disobedience Cost Uzziah His Assignment
…and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
2 Chronicles 26: 5b, 15b-16, 20
Uzziah ascended the throne in Jerusalem at the age of 16. Of course at that age Uzziah did not have the expertise of a seasoned man of war, but he had the flexibility and open-mindedness that accompanies youth. God sent men of military wisdom to assist Uzziah in the building and design of creative military weaponry. The Bible says that as long as Uzziah sought the Lord—as long as he had a heart after God—God made him prosperous. Uzziah was marvelously helped, and creativity flowed in the form of clever, ingenious devices that were some of the hallmarks of his reign.
Uzziah was marvelously helped, “till he was strong.” The word strong in this passage means “to make hard, obstinate.” What is it about seeing the wondrous works of God on a continual basis that has the potential to harden the human heart? The answer is found in the account of King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles chapter 26. Uzziah had gone into the house of God to burn incense, a function that he knew was reserved for the priests only. Uzziah’s heart was lifted up to his own destruction because he allowed his own personal agenda to take precedence over God’s assignment and mandate over his life. In his hardness of heart, he failed to obey the instructions of those God had placed around him for support, and the priests had to take military action against their king! God sends individuals across our paths who are ready, willing, and able to use extreme measures to get us to hear and understand what God is saying, because in our pride and arrogance we cannot hear God clearly. Uzziah misinterpreted God’s marvelous help as a divine sanction on his personal desire to function in the office of priest—an assignment God had not called, anointed, or appointed him to carry out. What happened to him? Self-deception. There is extreme danger in walking outside the call of God for our lives and what resulted from Uzziah’s dangerous heart attitude was the destruction of his assignment. Uzziah became a leper and an outcast and was unable to function in his original calling. Sin unchecked has the potential to lock you out of your place in God.
by Dr. John A. Tetsola