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The Difference Maker

   I was talking with my good friend Glenn Davis yesterday. He is a pastor in Colombia and we had been talking about men’s roles in the family. We both agreed that in the modern world, the average family is managed and directed by women. In both our cultures, however, there are some stark exceptions. Some men are taking an active leadership role in their families seeking to develop intimacy with their wives and a positive, strategic legacy with their kids. A week ago, I asked Glenn, “In your culture, what is the difference? What makes a man take on the leadership role for his family?”
   Yesterday, he gave me his answer, “It is Jesus. Men who actively, passionately follow Jesus have a different approach to their families than other men.”
   Then I read 1 Samuel 19:23, ” So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.” Prior to this moment, Saul was a scoundrel intent on killing David out of jealousy and fear. Saul had attempted numerous times to take the life of this young warrior. Saul had lied to his son Jonathan about his plans to kill David becasue he knew the two young men were close friends. He had ordered his men to pursue the execution of David. In his heart, Saul wanted David dead so his son Jonathan could be the future ruler of Israel rather than David.
   David was in Naioth because Samuel was there. He went to the prophet for advice and encouragement. Saul sent men there to find David but when they got close, the Spirit of God came upon them and they were transformed from punishers into prophets. They couldn’t resist because of the power of the Spirit of God. After sending three groups of men, Saul finally decided he needed to go and do what they could not accomplish. When he encountered the Spirit of God, however, he too was transformed from a hateful, vengeful, jealous king into a yeilded, compassionate, God honoring proclaimer of truth.
   It wasn’t that Saul had figured it all out or that he found answers to all his questions. It was simply that he had encountered the living, life giving Spirit of God. Future events will prove that he actually hadn’t changed on his own because when the Spirit departed him, he returned to his bitter ways.
   Today, the Spirit indwells believers so we don’t have to worry about the Spirit departing but we still need to keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) When we resist Him or try to replace what He can do wtih our own plans, we fall right back into our petty, unproductive style of living. When we choose to yield to Him by passionately pursuing Him, there is no limit to the strength, selflessness, influence and insight we can receive in the midst of the best or the worst circumstances.
   If you want to see a true difference in your life, seek Jesus with all your heart!

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