Tuesday, June 5, 2012

BEWARE The Spirit of Absalom

Recently Pastor Tim Walker shared this blog on his FaceBook page.  After reading I knew I had to share this with you!

By the way, for all my SNM Pastors and Winners Church family, Pastor Tim Walker is one of the guest speakers at Campmeeting this year, June 27-29!  You don't want to miss it!

Beware The Spirit of Absalom

Published on June 1st, 2012
David was a wise and experienced warrior. He was a man anointed of God to lead Israel in battles both spiritual and literal.  David knew when to fight and when not to fight. He knew the difference between retreat and strategic withdrawal to regroup the troops.  He knew that ultimately, the most important outcome was not who won which battle, but who won the war.
Though my tenure as overseer of a wonderful group of churches and ministers has ended, I find myself still fielding phone calls, text messages, and in counseling sessions with anointed and called leaders whose congregations are being attacked by men and women with what I identified long ago as “the spirit of Absalom.”
It seems every church of any size in existence for very long today has experienced some level of uprising.  Most of the time the spirit of Absalom is behind it.  It is not the result of poor leadership. It cannot be blamed on the pastor, nor his wife, nor his children.  There is always someone – or some family – or some group – with a hidden agenda.  For the Book of Acts church there was Ananias and Sapphira – “a certain man with his wife.
There seem to be two predominant spirits that attack churches today.  The spirit of Jezebel is a spirit of control.  Jezebel can get into the worship department, or into the intercessors, or pulpit, or other departments.  The spirit of Jezebel is often after the finances, acknowledging that whoever controls the purse strings controls the power of the church.  The Absalom spirit is a little different.  It is a take-over spirit that has an ultimate objective of taking off a following, a separating from the body.  It is a spirit of division and discord.
Absalom was the favored son of King David.  In all probability, David might have been actually grooming him to take the throne. Absalom was impatient.  Like the prodigal son, he didn’t want to wait for his inheritance.  He wanted it now.  Nearly seven decades ago, my pastor taught me, “A man too big to do little things is too little to do big things.”  Individuals should be given opportunities in small things to prove their loyalty, dedication, and ability then find promotion into areas of leadership in ministry.
When Satan sets about to destroy a church, he goes for the leaders.  Leadership staff at a church of any size must be warned: Satan targets people who show potential. He will send discouragement.  When that works, he’ll let them spread their disappointments and discouragement and sow discord.  “We need to pray for our Pastor.  He just doesn’t get it.”  When this spirit shows up – in the earliest of stages – it should be confronted.  It is a strategy of Satan to plant destructive seeds in rising leaders.
When we read the story of David and Absalom we see what a strong conspiracy was created.  “For the people increased continually with Absalom.”  I call it a conspiracy because, at least at first, David and the other leaders didn’t know what was happening.  Absalom worked behind their backs.  I’ve seen it happen in churches.  The pastor goes on vacation and leaves a trusted man in charge to come back and find the church ripe for a split. The spirit of Absalom has been at work.  We have to remember that Kingdom work is not flesh and blood but “principalities and powers.”
Bill Gothard said,
“Disloyalty can develop over a period of time if certain attitudes are allowed to find a place of habitation in the spirit of a person with responsibility.  No one wakes up one morning and finds himself disloyal.  Disloyalty is an attitude that develops through various stages before it fully manifests itself.” 
Disloyalty does not begin with a massive conspiracy – it goes through stages.  It starts as a little seed –frustration, discontent, critical over little things – length of service, message, who sings.  Absalom just wanted to be made a judge – or so he said. In churches today, it seems to eventually come to a point where the man or woman with the spirit of Absalom begins to think he/she teach better, counsel better, move in the gifts better.  And, who knows?  Maybe that’s true.  However, he’s not the called anointed leader God has put in place.
There seem to be stages in the Absalom spirit that are readily identified.  It starts with an independent spirit.  An Absalom spirit will not submit to the leader.  It begins to maneuver to gain personal recognition from people.  There is nothing servant-like about this person. God anoints men and women with submissive hearts. Luke 16:12 tells us that if you’ve been faithful in keeping what is another man’s, God will commit to you what which is your own. Joseph had to buy into three other dreams before his own came true.
The next stage in the Absalom spirit is self-promotion.  The man not only wants recognition, he wants praise and promotion.  Every move is a strategic attempt to be seen and approved.  We find, in the story of Absalom, that for several years he had been weaning people away from David with a long-range plan to take the throne from him.  Satan always has a long-range plan.  Just like Absalom wanted to go pray – the Absalom-spirited one always has a “spiritual” reason behind what they do.  Absalom had 200 men who accompanied him from Jerusalem; innocent people who did not know what his ultimate plan actually was.  In a church setting, innocent people always get sucked in and become the casualties of war not of their own making.
Then, with the recognition and praise they have garnered for themselves, spiritual pride shows up.  They start believing their own hype.  “I am the best . . .”  From that invariably comes an offended spirit.
In one church somewhere between the north and south poles, the ushers got offended because the pastor stopped the  church from paying for the donuts being brought to the usher’s office each Sunday morning.  Half of the ushers quit.  All I can say is, if you get offended enough to quit over donuts, there wasn’t much holding you there in the first place.
As the Absalom spirit takes a stronger hold, you’ll encounter a critical spirit.  Every decision is questioned.  Every statement challenged.  From that, a competitive spirit is born.  It will begin to question whether or not the Pastor even hears from God. The more you decrease, the more Jesus will increase.  By the same token, the more you increase, the less of Jesus there will be.  The wise man of Proverbs said, “Confidence in an unfaithful man in a time of trouble is like a broken tooth and a foot out of joint.”  It cripples the body of believers when you’ve got men who have this kind of attitude.  The body can’t walk on that kind of crippled foot.
Absalom’s spirit brings with it the sowing of division and strife.  Complaints will abound over everything imaginable – how much money is spent, what it’s spent on, who sings, who doesn’t sing, who teaches, who doesn’t.  Absalom feeds followers on his own critical and fault-finding spirit. With increasing boldness, there is gossip against the leader – and usually, his family as well. Eventually there is open disloyalty and division.
When Absalom is ready to move, he moves with swiftness.  A man with an Absalom spirit will embarrass the pastor in  a public forum – a church service or a board meeting. Those of like spirits will gather to him.  Like Absalom, they will become bold – call meetings and gather the innocents; focusing people on the minor issues, he splits the church either literally or psychologically.
God has a plan.  Absalom met his end. He rode a mule and got caught under the thick boughs of a tree.  The vehicle that was carrying him left him and he was hung.  His head – or his authority – became his downfall.  He was caught by head in a tree.  Terrible judgment on his life.  Finally, he was stabbed to death by 10 young men.
Absaloms need to repent of the criticism, to forgive if they think they’ve been offended, they need to seek your blessings even if they leave your church.  I’ve known of Absalom’s that underwent a chastening of the Lord, paid the price, and came out all right – but it’s a terrible price.
So, what can we do?  As a pastor, try and spot an Absalom in the earliest stages and always provide a place for restoration.  An Absalom that has been restored can be one of your most loyal members.
As a church member, when you see (or hear) that spirit of Absalom, refuse to be a part of it.
Beware the spirit of Absalom!

For more information about this article and it's author visit his site at http://focusedlight.net

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gold versus Dirt

We all know the Kingdom principals are backwards to flesh (sinful nature) principals.  EXAMPLE: Last shall be first, in order to lead you must serve, and so on...  With this thought process in motion, the Bible states that the foundations of Heaven are made of gold.  However, here on earth we make our foundations out of some form of "dirt".  With knowing that things in the Kingdom are different from what we are used to in the world - I want to challenge you with a thought.

We tend to ask God to help or bless us according to our needs.  Lately, in the circumstances of life, most peoples needs have been a lack of monetary flow.  Their (and my) prayer(s) have been: “God, I believe You are my provider, and You own the cattle on a thousand hills, You are Jehovah Jireh”… blah blah blah. I have prayed, tried to walk in faith and turn even my thoughts of the need over to Him.  I continue to pay my tithes and even sow seeds, but nothing -- well not nothing -- because I would hate to see where I would be if I hadn't at least been doing all this.

If I have ever heard from God, it was yesterday morning while I was ironing my shirt getting ready to go to the church.  I was once again trying to turn thoughts of my financial need over to my Daddy God, and just spend some time worshipping Him.  As I was praying something similar to the prayer above, I was on the phrase, "and the streets of Heaven are paved with gold."  At that moment I heard God say to my spirit, "Yes, and will you just obey Me, and go after what is valuable in My Kingdom."  I immediately knew exactly what He was saying.  Based on the Kingdom's economy gold is of little or no value.  This is the stuff God uses to do maintenance with in His Kingdom. The valuable thing in the Kingdom is "DIRT".  The Bible states in Genesis that He, formed and fashioned us out of dirt, and then breathed life into us.  The value in the Kingdom of God is us doing what He instructed us to do in the great commission -- to go into all the world and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.  

Until we decide to be obedient, and do what He has instructed us to do -- REACH SOULS, we are going to be like a teenager who still lives in his parent’s house but is grounded and on restriction.  He still gets to eat, sleep, have his needs filled, and participate with the family.  The problem is he is walking in complete and utter rebellion and disobedience. We are like that teenager if we are not fulfilling the great commission.  The Father continues to tell us if you will just obey, you can have an abundance of joy and fulfillment. Why?  Because the Father wants to give it to the son more than the son even realizes he wants it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

You are invited to join us at Valdosta Stadium Cinemas to see the new movie “Courageous”
Sunday Evening @ 5:PM

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Summit - Leadership Training


Registration will be $20/person which will include Lunch.  You may pay online at the SNM website after August 15th.  Everyone in church leadership should attend.

There will be classes on:
Leadership -- Getting Volunteers -- Youth Programs
TeamWork -- How to Support Your Pastor -- Networking
Outreach -- Children's Ministry -- Curriculum -- Counseling

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pizza with Pastor

Pizza with Pastor
The Couples ministry will be having a special night out Thursday, October 13 @ 6:30PM.  It will be at the new Marco’s Pizza across from Smokin’ Pig.  See you there!

Friday, September 2, 2011


WOW! The month of August in my life and the life of the Winners Church is a special month.  The celebration of anniversaries comes in like a tsunami.  Pastor Shelisa and I celebrated 14 years of marriage on August 30, and the Winners Church celebrated its seventh anniversary back on August 4.  We are so blessed and privileged to be a part of this house and your lives.  We love you all and count it an honor to be your pastor, friend, mentor, spiritual parents and kingdom co-workers.  Let's have another great year and do even more in the next 12 months.