When to submit and when to standBro. David Chancellor
8/13/2006 6:00 PM
1 Kings 13:7-25
And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon. And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that brought him back: And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy God commanded thee, But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
This prophet told king Jeroboam that God’s judgment would come on him. The king offered the prophet refreshment at his home, but God had told the prophet not to eat or drink at that place. God had told the prophet something and he was to stand by it. He wasn’t in doubt about what God had to say. He stood by what God said before the king, but he gave in to the old prophet. He paid with his life. At first, he stood, but the old prophet lied and said that an angel gave him a different message to give to him. The prophet had a choice, and he gave in. The old prophet got a revelation shortly thereafter that gave the consequences of what he had done.
What did the old prophet say to convince the younger prophet? Did he say that he had “greater light”? When God gives you something to do, you need to get the message clear and stick with it. When we go to take a stand, we need to make sure that it is what God said.
Mysticism is based on an emotional “spiritual” experience. Divine revelation should come through the word, not an emotional “spiritual” experience. It is hard to find the truth when the revelation isn’t based on the word of God. The Spirit of God leads by the Word.
Rationalism figures things out external to the word of God through the “power of the mind.” The word of God is important to us. It helps us to have stability and to know what we should do in the situations we face. This prophet should have held to the word of God. He wasn’t confused about it, but he let someone persuade him to do differently, and it cost him his life.
We need to know when to submit and when to stand, because submitting when we should stand and standing when we should submit will cost us our souls. We need to know the word of God and when to submit and when to stand.
1 Peter 5:5-7
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
“Likewise ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder.” This speaks of submission and humility. When should I submit?
Submit when God speaks, but make sure it is the word of God and not some man’s interpretation. God’s word is open for examination. The people of Berea searched the word to see if what was taught was so, and we are told that this was a noble act. The word of God is open and will bear examination.
Listen to experience. We can benefit from what others have been through. Listen to experience that won’t contradict what God has told you. You don’t have to blindly follow other’s experience, but do listen and try to understand. We come together so that we can benefit from the experience of others.
We should all be ready to learn from each other. We can listen and get benefit from others without blindly following. We can all learn from others. Even preachers learn from others. He can learn from the congregation. As we learn together, we all know more. All of us contribute to the body. Be prepared to come and listen as well as to share. Be ready to learn.
Can you be humble and stand? Yes. We have examples in the Bible of those who stood for what was right, but who were humble people.
Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you. But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me; God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Paul took a stand. He felt he must take a stand about some things that were wrong. He did it because he was concerned that the gospel continue. As a humble person, there may be times when, for the sake of the gospel, you have to say, “I’m not budgin’.” Paul tried to work with others but finally planted his feet and said, “This is where I need to be.” Where issues of truth and right are concerned, you CANNOT give in. We can make allowances for people where they don’t feel pressured in their conscience, but we have to stand when the gospel will suffer harm. For Paul, the law became an issue when it started taking away from the gospel. Before that, he hadn’t made an issue of those who chose to live by the law after salvation. We have to stand when truth is changed to error.
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” There comes a time when we have to take a stand because we can’t bless those that are doing wrong. What Paul did wasn’t pleasant, but he did it because of the damage that would be done by the wrong. If it is a case involving you only, it’s better to just suffer the wrong and forebear. This issue, though, was splitting up the church at Antioch, and Paul had to take a stand to prevent greater damage.
You don’t have to be proud and arrogant to take a stand. You don’t have to be ugly or make a scene. Just settle down firmly on the truth and don’t move.
Paul had tried to find God through the law and knew that that didn’t work. He wanted the gospel to go forth clearly and plainly. We don’t want trouble, but there comes a time when you have to choose to stand for God and right even if there is trouble.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand
Paul was admonishing these to stand. Our stand should be in God. It shouldn’t be our strong will, but the power of God.
This isn’t about people. We don’t have to do hurtful and miserable things to people. We’re not fighting people. It’s right to stand where principle is involved. Stand for the right principle and really understand what you’re standing on. Stand when wrong spirits are involved. We don’t take a stand by being ugly. Keep a right spirit. Stand against what would promote a wrong attitude and spirit. You should be able to manifest a good spirit while standing for what is right. Stand where wickedness is involved. As we stand for the gospel, the end won’t justify the means. Stand against wickedness. There’s something wrong if you have to do bad to achieve good. We don’t want a stand after the fashion of the Crusades. We want to do what is right. The battle is between right and wrong, truth and error, the world and the church - not between people.
God works through the Word and the Spirit. What God reveals in his word through his Spirit is a safe place to stand. We can listen to what others have to say. We have opportunity to learn. We can have the same truth God ahs revealed to others. People will pull various ways, but we want to always be standing with God, his people and his word. There is a place to submit and there is a place to stand. Be wary of those insights and revelations that are outside of the word of God. Stand firm on the word of God, but be willing to learn and take in more. Our safe place is to stick with what God shows us, while remaining teachable.
Disclaimer: These notes were taken and transcribed by Misti Chancellor, and are not a verbatim transcription of the sermon.