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Absolute Power Corrupts and Godly Power Perfects

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

– 1 Samuel 16:7

We looked yesterday at some of the evil empires that tried to conquer and take down the Israelites during their early history, and we established that no matter how good the intentions of a conquering nation were, they ultimately fell prey to their own folly. Unfortunately, this was not only true of foreign governments but also of Israel’s own kings.

As you read the account of the Jewish people as recorded in the books of the Old Testament, one thing you see continually are kings who started out good and ended up falling prey to their lust for power and control. Time and time again, Israelite rulers went to the grave shaking their fists at God. Even David and Solomon, who are considered by history to be the greatest of the Hebrew kings, struggled to contain their fleshly passions. David was a murderer and an adulterer who made numerous wrong choices. What, then, classified him as a man after God’s own heart? How could a messed up king have gained the Lord’s favor in such a great way? One simple act — repentance. David paid attention to his conscience and focused on his inner life just as much as his outer, as proven by his vulnerable, soul-searching Psalms.

Friend, as the old saying goes, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Whether an empire or an individual, without tending to matters of the heart, you are destined for a fall. This is why the Kingdom that Jesus brought to earth was not one of military might, but of revolution of heart. The Lord knew that entire populations could only be transformed one soul at a time. This is why, as tempting as it is to strive for power, influence, and control in the structures of this world today, I encourage you to submit your way to the guiding Hand of your good God. Humble yourself, look to Him, and allow His might to flow in and through your life. When He is your source of influence, you will accomplish much more than you ever could in your own strength! Isn’t that great news?

Prayer


Thank you, Jesus, for starting a revolution in my heart. Transform me from the inside out so that your power can flow through my life.

Reflection


Do you focus first on external conquests or do you tend to the matters of your heart?

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