Religious thinking
Will religious thinking cause you to miss the next great move of God? (iStock photo )

A powerful plan is unfolding in the body of Christ for this hour. As God's purposes are being revealed for this generation, there are many transitions in how the church functions, what it looks like and its structure.

Father is raising up revival hubs in various regions. They carry something unique and significant. There is a prophetic picture coming forth of a new wineskin (structure) emerging to return the church to her roots. We can look back at the Old Testament to get some insight into what is coming forth. The body is moving from the House of Saul to the House of David.

There are fresh messages coming forth! The Lord is taking the fiery coals from the Holy place and touching the lips of His servants to give voice and expression to what He is saying to His bride. There are messengers arising carrying the announcement of the new season. There is also an ongoing clash between the Houses of Saul and David.

During his reign as King, Saul was transformed from a meek, passionate lover of God to a domineering, oppressive ruler who actively fought against those whom God was raising up. David was a powerful young prophet who found his identity in the presence of God. Saul ruled with an iron fist and resisted the emerging ministry of David.

Saul's Humble Beginnings

"Now a day before Saul's coming, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel saying, 'About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines.

'For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.' When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, 'Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.' Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, 'Please tell me where the seer's house is.' Samuel answered Saul and said, 'I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind. 

"As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father's household?" Saul replied, 'Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?' (1 Sam. 9:15-21)

When Saul was appointed as King of Israel he was God's choice. The Lord found in Saul a man that was humble and pleasing in His sight. Saul took his leadership post seriously and strove to please the Lord.

When the Oil Grows Polluted

So many leaders begin with a right heart but somewhere in their journey something changes. As responsibilities grow and opportunities abound, a person can easily become distracted and move away from the intense devotional life that was once their foundation. Over an extended period of time, their oil grows polluted! One of the key things we need is fresh oil. We must maintain a red-hot devotional life of worship, Word and prayer! Prayer is like a compass searching our heart and providing direction.

"Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 'I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.' And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the Lord all night" (1 Sam. 15:10-10). 

Saul was given very specific instructions by the Lord but he was not obedient. Instead of following the path that God had laid out for him, he chose to follow his own direction. This is a dangerous mistake. A spiritual leader is only as successful as their level of surrender and obedience. Partial obedience is total rebellion! Saul would go on to lose his post because of the hardness of his heart.

4 Costly Mistakes

Saul made at least four mistakes that ultimately cost him the kingdom:

1. Saul did not deal with insecurity. Insecurity that is not dealt with can often provide a platform for a controlling spirit. This creates a toxic atmosphere when an insecure leader embraces a controlling mentality. Control helps to create a false sense of confidence that is camouflaging inner weakness. 

2. He lost sight of His first love. When Saul was anointed as King he was a sincere God seeker. With promotion comes the challenge of juggling priorities and properly stewarding time. If Saul had maintained a red-hot devotional life, the Lord would have corrected His heart, healed rejection and washed Him in mercy. Our devotional life must take first place in all of our pursuits! We are called to live a first love lifestyle of daily seeking and encountering Jesus!

3. He began to rely on His own gifts and strengths. God has called each of us to lean upon Him and have a deep dependence upon His leadership in our lives. If we are placed in any type of leadership we must never rely on our own strengths or gifts above His presence and leading. Saul got too comfortable in His position and lost sight of the main thing!

4. He didn't listen to wise counsel. Many times the Lord places people in our lives that can save us years of trouble if we listen! Jesus said that we would know them by their fruit (Matt. 7:16-17). We can listen to and follow those with good fruit in their lives. 

Saul Turns Against David

"Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 

"Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt. So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and prospered; and Saul set him over the men of war. And it was pleasing in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants. 

"It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments. The women sang as they played, and said, 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."

Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, 'They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?" Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on. 

"Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul's hand. Saul hurled the spear for he thought, 'I will pin David to the wall." But David escaped from his presence twice. Now Saul was afraid of David, for the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul'" (1 Sam. 18:1-12).

The Lord was raising up David to lead the next great era of Israel. Transition is always difficult. Many struggle when one move of God ends and another begins. A fresh move will look and sound different. During a fresh move of God there will be expression and revelation that moves the body in new directions. It is vitally important to understand that faith is a journey! We are not supposed to get stuck. If we cry out for revival and ask God to lead us then we must be willing to move wherever He leads.

Saul was tormented by inner turmoil and raging insecurity. An insecure leader often becomes a controlling leader. Theses Revival Hubs will not be led by Sauls. A Saul cannot usher in the fresh prophetic anointing that will slay the giant and bring the victory. Only a David can bring the necessary components because he or she has been formed in the secret place. 'Davids' desire presence more than platform. 'Davids' live for the secret place. 'Davids' have prevailed in secret and will be rewarded openly.

Saul fought against the next generation of great leaders. A person dwelling in the House of Saul controls, binds and restricts! They do not embrace fresh moves of God but view everything through a lens of personal pride. This mentality will not be effective in the move that God is birthing in the land.

Here are some comparisons between the house of Saul and the house of David that are worth noting:

The House of Saul:

  • Fosters a prideful, self serving leadership model.
  • Embraces the order of man above the order of the Lord.
  • Represents an old wineskin (structure/system) fueled by religion—can not contain NEW WINE in an old wineskin (Mark 2:22).
  • Lacks prophetic influence and insight.
  • Not a fathering house. Saul's own son was killed because of his disobedience. 
  • The House of Saul is built upon self preservation and exaltation

The House of David:

  • Presence fueled.
  • Heart based in humility because of intimate prayer.
  • Release of a prayer and worship driven model.
  • Carries a powerful prophetic anointing.
  • Fathering house (apostolic in nature).
  • A transforming house. Under David's leadership afflicted men became mighty! The House of David is one that brings divine change and growth to people's lives.
  • Executes heaven's agenda. David heard, saw and obeyed! Key to success in the House of David is humble obedience.
  • Release of prophetic sounds (change in worship style and sounds). Music captures moments. There is a birthing of new sounds and expressions that will mark this emerging move! The change in sound challenges the religious spirit. God seekers must learn how to find presence in a variety of sounds.
  • Carries a new wineskin (new structure).

There is both great challenge and opportunity being revealed in this present age. It is going to take a powerful anointing and radical obedience to break through the hard places and release the plans of heaven in earth! I am convinced that God is doing something exciting and powerful right now. It is something that is born of the House of David and not of Saul.

There is a washing and cleansing taking place. Leaders are being invited to cross over into a fresh move of God. God is no respecter of persons. He is calling the hungry forth! The Father is wooing His children to come up higher with Him.

There is a radical new breed arising of every age, race and background that are willing to dig the wells and release the rivers!

Ryan LeStrange has been preaching the gospel for more than half of his life. As a young man, God led him to leave his home and travel to Tennessee to study and train under Dr. Norvel Hayes, who later became his spiritual father. Pastor Ryan shares the apostolic call of Dr. Hayes to establish churches, ministries and Bible colleges, and to train leaders in the body of Christ. Ryan hosts a weekly television show on God TV called Power4Today. Ryan is the apostle and leader of Impact International Apostolic Fellowship, a network of churches and ministries around the world with a single vision to birth revival. He has founded two Bible colleges, served as an associate pastor and traveled as an evangelist. Visit him online at ryanlestrange.com.

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