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January 25, 2021 1:00 am
Some people are so consumed with their own importance that they seek to control the lives of those around them. In this message, we turn the light of Scripture on the lives of so-called “control freaks” by examining the life of King Saul of Israel.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Rain forests looking to Jesus. Some people are so consumed with their own importance. They seek to control the lives of those around them. There were today returned lives of so-called control offerings by examining the life of King Saul is this is Sir James helps us make it across. Will you be explaining how people become obsessed with dominating others lives. Yes, Dave, and often that happens because of their background because of the home in which they were born and I need to say that if there's any message that is absolutely critical in this series. This might be one of them because were living at a time when there are so many unhappy marriages because one partner wants to dominate and control the other, they don't understand the roots of this and they don't understand how destructive it can be. And by the way, speaking of Saul. He's a gold mine of psychological insight. So I think that what were going to be covering today is going to be very helpful. And you know I've written a book entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong in it. I discussed love, depression, rejection, loneliness, anger, and so forth for a gift of any amount.
This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us open our Bibles and let us look at the life of Saul and perhaps we will even see ourselves as some of you know that on the Oprah Winfrey show. There was a story recently about a couple where the wife wanted to control the husband in some respects it wasn't an entirely new story. But what David interest is the extent to which she wanted to do it.
She told him how to comb his hair how to hold his fork what to eat what he couldn't eat. She kept a calendar to see how he was doing so that she could keep tabs notebooks full of rules for your jeans and half mine in third one I like the best is never give yourself anything without asking me what I want for all this business of control come from anyway actually comes from the garden of Eden when the serpent said to the woman you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
I am God over my little turf your God over your little turf. And because our terse intersect.
We can't get along, and I want to control you and you want to control me and so control lies at the heart of sin. Sin, in fact could be spoken of as self-will, sin is setting up my kingdom instead of God's sin is being willing to do anything to protect myself and to exalt myself and to be king over my little territory. Whether it's big or small. Jesus said that it is the Gentiles. He says which exercise authority like the translation that says they exercise dominion over people. But he said it should not be so among you because he said you should be servants that should be different in the church than in the world, you know, you think of the essence of sin. It says in the book of Proverbs that there are sins of the spirit. Proverbs chapter 6.
These six things the Lord hates the seven are an abomination onto him. Let's just take off a few and see how control lies at the heart of the haughty eyes. The Bible says God hates because I want to control what people think of me alighting, I want to control what people believe, hands that shed blood. I want to protect what it is that I think I have and on and on it goes. And at the root. It is this whole idea of control. We are all born controllers.
You've heard the expression, control freaks that somebody who is a controller to add huge extent, as we shall see today in the Scriptures.
As you know this is a series of messages titled why good people do bad things and we talked about shame and anger and addictions and all these things.
Our purpose in this series of messages is to shine God's word into the human heart and to see it in all of its ugliness and then to understand God's message of grace and redemption on how we should respond to it. Also like to say a word about the psychology, much of psychology is an enemy of Christianity, but there is a part of psychology that is helpful. Psychology for the most part is based on the idea that we are in centers and also that God is not the foundation of all things in the answer to the human need. That's why it is such a visceral enemy of the Bible, but there's a part of it that is very helpful and that is its analysis of human behavior you read some of these books and you say yeah I know somebody just like that there are people who have spent their life studying human behavior so they give us insights even if they don't have the right answers.
Today I may at times mention a psychological term and I want to point out, it's not because I bought into psychology is just that I sometimes am fascinated by the accuracy with which human behavior has been able to be analyzed at the end of the day what were going to do is talk from the Bible. I'm going to preach about a man who turned evil and were going to try to find out why he turned evil, but were also going to speak about his evil controlling and how someone reacts.
Did to that controller and the lessons that God taught him in the midst of the conflict.
That's where were going so at the end of the day we can have a word from God for all controllers but also for the control you see there is something such as what we sometimes call a codependent controller just going to spend a few moments so that we understand what it is that were talking about and recognizing these kinds of human behavior codependent controller. Somebody brought up in an alcoholic home.
Home that is disordered, he's absolutely here she is determined that they're going to do everything right. Therefore, they become very controlling to hide their shame and minimize their pain, they tend to come Joel to use guilt to manipulate. They want to criticize and nothing in their life seems to be right unless they really deal with this before God. When you begin to ask how does control manifest itself or the list goes on endlessly. But let me give you a few examples. First of all, there is the let's deal with your sin controller.
I know young man who would make friends of young ladies during the dating process, he would find out all of their secrets. All of their sins, and then in the end he would use those against them as a means of control that was leverage so that he could get to them and control of them.
There is also the don't forget your husband controller and the Bible says wives are to be subject to their husbands and their husbands who take that out of context and use those verses in the worst possible way. There is the I will control my body controller. The person who is so insecure regarding the way in which they appear that they will have an eating disorder and starve themselves to death. Still thinking that they look overweight, there's the obsessive-compulsive controller. Once everything in his hands and there's this unstoppable repeated patterns of behavior when they expect to control events and other people having been sinned against.
They sin against others by exercising this control.
It's all a mistake. Of course, when will you and I finally come to the conclusion that we can change people that only God can and how much better it is to simply say I can't change human nature because even if people do what I tell them to do or think they should or criticize them when I turn my back go back to their old ways. Anyway, of course, parents of the responsibility of controlling their children using that word in the right way but there comes a time, even when parents have to simply give their children to God. I've known parents and the child may be older and and on his own and and they just keep saying you know you should be coming to church or I told him he should be doing this.
I told him that he should be doing that. I told him you want to just smile and look at their face and say will is it working is working. The answer is no, of course, is not working much better to give the child the God and to simply say God only you can change them and I will love them and it's all up to you.
I think Harold black. Debbie has a point when he says there are many children in whose lives God cannot work because the parents are constantly getting in the way of their other kinds of control. There is the there's the disordered controller and this is what is sometimes known as borderline personalities because their people. When you meet them.
You think that they are normal and you get to know them and they are normal at all. In fact, because they are impulsive. They have a tendency to addictions they dread being alone. Their flighty they run from place to place seeking significance. They can't hold down a job and an disorder is the name of the game, and so they to them disorder is important because they constantly keep people off balance.
Nobody quite knows where he sat with them and that's very important because it masks their own deep unmet need that they refused to face, and so they control things by mood shifts by constantly changing the rules.
One man I know his wife made him fried eggs. He threw them on the floor. You should know that I don't like fried eggs okay will the next time she made them boil as he had wanted and then he threw the boiled eggs on the floor and on and on it goes. Because the disorder within him constantly.
Is there, and as a result of that, these sorts of people when you're with them or if you have to live with them as some people do, you'll find that you can't have people over to the home. Even because you're constantly walking on eggshells because you don't know what their mood will be you don't know what kind of phantom illness they may have at the last moment now. Also, these folks like all the rest of us are very slow to accept their faults. In fact they can't at the reason II speak about these things is because in counseling you see this all the time. I know a situation in which a Christian man is determined to destroy his daughter and her husband in Christian ministry is determined to do it and he uses manipulation control when he was when the daughter was growing up, he would slap her, which no man should ever do to a daughter, but he would slap her and if she went and told her mother.
Then he'd say, why did you tell your mother.
It is you that is making your mother and I fight all responsibility rests with the child.
He receives none of it but I'd like to do today is to look at evil by looking at an evil man in the Scriptures you say will when you make the transition. The folks that we've described so far are bad because they not dealt with her own insecurities before God.
But when does a person actually become evil and I'd like to give you a definition and then turned to the Scriptures and then see the answer for the controller as well is the controlled. I believe that a person becomes evil when he destroys those around them for the purpose of self protection and self exaltation when somebody does that. We can say they're not just not bad. They're just not struggling with sin, as all of us to that person is evil want you to take your Bibles now and let us look at King Saul of the Old Testament. King Saul many ways incredibly gifted. That's the thing that makes him such an interesting study very very gifted and what I'd like to do very briefly in this has to be brief is to give you characteristics of a man who turned from being a relatively good king at one time winning tremendous battles and receiving a lot of adulation to being a man that we would define definitely is evil. What happened in the process.
Let me give you the characteristics you remember in chapter 13 of first Samuel.
Saul is supposed to wait for Samuel before sacrifices are offered, because only the priest was supposed to offer the sacrifices.
But Samuel was late. Saul is desperate because he fears that somehow the Philistines are going to get the upper hand on him so he goes ahead and does it in violation of the commandment of the Lord.
Look at what the text says. And today, by the way were going to hurry over this man's life all kinds of chapters just hitting some high points. I feel as if I'm cheating you as a congregation in doing it that quickly. I'm not. If you were to go home and to read the whole story of Saul because he is indeed a very interesting person, so Samuel comes to him then and this is chapter 13 verse 14 Samuel was speaking because you disobey the word of the Lord. Your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for himself and man after his own heart. And the Lord has appointed him as a ruler over his people because you have not kept what the Lord has commanded you. Your King shall not in your and Saul said okay if God takes the kingdom from me. He is God, and therefore I resign.
Oh boy soul is going to hold onto that kingdom was the first characteristic first characteristic of this evil man is he is obsessed with possessing the kingdom he is going to hold onto that kingdom until his knuckles turn white. He is going to hold onto that kingdom until the day he dies because he will not knowledge God as Cain to give it to whomsoever he will if you asked the question why do good people do evil things, that puts our finger on the heart of it, the unwillingness to submit to God as the ruler of our kingdom now of course were not kings in the sense of Saul, but our kingdom can be our career. We've seen people hang onto their careers long after they should've given up long ago, we've seen that happen. I've seen pastors continue to be pastors of churches. Even though the churches were splitting and fragmenting in and there were all these difficulties, and even after he has lost his mandate to be able to rule and to be able to be a pastor. He hangs on until everything around them is destroyed because he does not believe that the kingdom belongs to God long stadium. It can be your career. It can be your money. That kingdom can be your giftedness. All of those things can be our kingdom. And if we do not recognize that these things come from God.
We are going to want to possess and to control and to hang on and not give up and that is so going to distort us that were on the verge of becoming evil to give you a second characteristic insane jealousy.
Look at chapter 18 versus verses seven and 818 versus seven and eight remembered David now has killed Goliath by the way, Goliath was no problem at all. It was soul in David's life. That was the problem, but you'll notice that the women probably they should not have done this after David returned it says in verse seven of chapter 18. Saul has slain his thousands, and David is tens of thousands. Then Saul became very angry for this saying displeased to many said they have ascribed to David Tan thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. What more can he have, but the kingdom and Saul looked at David with suspicion. From that day on, if we had time is just fascinating to see Saul's paranoia.
Always thinking that David was ready to steal the kingdom. David was waiting for God is not looking for a good time to steal the kingdom, but Saul is so paranoid because he's so insanely jealous just like you and I can be. If there's a younger understudy beneath us on the totem pole who is doing much better than we are and who is receiving greater adulation and greater success. There's something within us that wants us to destroy those who make us look bad. And that's where we begin to cross the line and become evil once again it comes down to this is the kingdom of God's or is it ours soul saw this is such a threat, let me say also number three obsessive angered notice it says in verse 10. 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 spirit was in Saul's hand and Saul hurled the spirit, for he thought, I will pin David to the wall, but David escaped from his presence twice now soul was afraid of David for the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul and soul absolutely cannot handle it. He is the one who's going to take now the spear and trying to kill him that he is obsessed you say why did the evil spirit come from the Lord. Where else do evil spirits come from.
Might be a surprise for you to hear from me, but God is the controller of the demons of this world they can only do they cannot so much as wiggle unless God allows them and what God was doing is judging Saul and saying Saul in light of the fact that you don't believe that the kingdom is mine and I drive you to this insane. It's a friend yeah not all schizophrenia may be demonic, but Saul's was and there are going to be moments.
Now when you're going to be in these moods when nothing is going to be able to calm you accept the playing of David's heart and there's going to be times when you're gonna be in distress and when you're going to be in convulsion of spirit because of the judgment of God. You do not want to admit that the kingdom is mine and you're hanging on to something that is God's gonna drive them to despair you save old token Saul kill a boy like David what you have to understand is when people give themselves to evil. They no longer have feelings of father who abuses his children. People several dozen. He loved his kids can't hear the plaintive cries of this little boy and the answer is no.
He cannot, for he has zoned out his emotions have shut down.
This is scary, isn't it the fact that there are people whose emotions have been shut down, you know, I've written a book entitled managing your emotions.
God's good gifts gone wrong on the one hand you have those who deny their emotions and I've just been talking about them in this message.
I stuff them into their soul. On the other hand you have people who are totally controlled by their emotions. We are very complex beings aren't way God is given us emotions and I think it's very important that we learn how to manage them.
Now this is the last week. We are making this resource available and were making it available because we think it will be of help. By the way, it also comes with questions at the end of each chapter for a gift of any amount.
This book can be yours managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong, and here's what you can do to contact us. Go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 would you remember as you pray for us as you share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others that were living in a world that is so broken. We need to give direction to a nation, and nations that have lost their way you connect with us today go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for you to ask Pastor looks or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life.
The issue of alcohol in a Christian's life has come up once again, this time from Beverly in Illinois. She writes our church is struggling with some issues in our Constitution, our pastor is been speaking on gray areas in the Bible and this is sparked a huge interest and brought much divisiveness among the congregation. One of the issues being discussed, and over which the board is divided is that our church covenant takes a stand against anyone joining the church that uses alcohol. Our pastor says alcohol in moderation is not condemned in the Bible. However, he does not use alcohol himself. We have some who will not become members because they don't want to sign the covenant with that stipulation in the document will Beverly thank you so much for writing and of course you know that you brought up an issue that has often been debated in Christian circles, my preference of course would be that no one touch alcohol. That's my personal preference and that's the way in which I live but we have to face the reality that in our society, sometimes even among Christians. Drinking has become more pervasive, strictly speaking, the Bible does not forbid wine now.
I might assume that the wind that is spoken of is quite different than the stronger drinks that we have today, but what the Bible does do is strongly condemn drunkenness, you know, I think that we have to have the maturity to realize that Christians can differ on this point we've been to Europe many times in virtually all of the Christians there drink wine or beer without a twinge of conscience. They don't even think about it being wrong. I don't stand in condemnation of them for many of them are filled with the spirit, and they walk with God and they are godly, but they do view this matter differently.
I pray that this will not divide your church, your church covenant should be worded with a strong warning against alcohol but also I think give some latitude as members of the congregation may have a different conscience about it. Don't split over this issue. Some wise counsel once again from Dr. Erwin looks or if you'd like to have your question answered. Go to our website. RTW offer.com and click on ask Pastor looks or you can call us with your question. At 188-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Control freaks are obsessed with them. So sad but true. By subjugating others they seek to elevate their own importance. Next time on our broadcast more characteristics of the spear throwers.
Those people who want to control your life. Running to win is sponsored by the teacher