Tag Archives: King Saul

Our Motives, Intentions and Attitudes [Toward Others]—Part 2

I’ll never forget it. My first thought was, “What was his motive or motives for such a horrendous act?”

In 2009, the New York Times reported that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist, shot and killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Fort Hood Army base in Central Texas. ¹

Last week, I wondered about the motives of whoever was sending package bombs to media and political figures around the country.

Fortunately, the police and FBI arrested Cesar Sayoc, 56, of South Florida as the prime suspect in the bomb mailings. Based on evidence collected so far, his motive appears to be extreme hatred of left-learning politicians and public figures.

Being a sociology major, I am extremely interested in what makes people tick. Crime shows fascinate me. In these shows, the question of motives always comes up either in the show or within my own mind.

Why Do We Want to Know a Person’s Motive?

  • To indulge our curiosity;
  • To know how to prevent future civil or moral disobedience;
  • To judge others;
  • To know how we can help solve others’ problems through acts of kindness; or
  • To pray for them.

In my blog titled Our Motives, Intentions, and Attitudes – Part 1, we discussed how to analyze our own motives. In Part 2, we will be looking into how we judge other people’s motives and whether it is right or wrong to do so from a Biblical perspective.

As we approach this topic, let’s remember that as we look upon the motives of others, they are looking back at us with the same inquiring mind, wondering, in turn, what our motives might be. Sometimes it is obvious; other times it is not.

When we judge (or try to analyze) the motives of others, our own belief system, personal experiences, desires, and other peripheral factors always come into play—affecting our perception of others.

Are We Judging Others When We Look at Their Motives?

It depends!

Motives can be good or bad, so we must balance how we view motives very carefully: we can’t always determine the motives of a person just by their behavior, deeds, or talk.

I must admit, when I was in my early twenties, I went to Sunday School to learn about God, but I had a double-motive. I wanted to find some dating possibilities. My motivation was what most Christ-followers can accept—the desire to find and date someone with like spiritual beliefs. While not 100% pure motives were involved, most accept and understand my dual motives.

Scrutinizing others’ motives should entail looking at our fellow human beings with the goal of glorifying God. Our words and thoughts should be gentle and humble—always seeking the best outcome for the other person. In this scenario, we would be looking at others in a righteous manner.

When we look at motives in an unrighteous way, our judgments are usually inconsistent with the way Jesus looks at us. Rudeness, roughness, humiliation and deviating from looking at others through the eyes of our Lord is prevalent today. Just look at many of our current political debates where intolerance and a lack of respect exist.

In 1 Chronicles 19, David was fleeing from King Saul and he received help from the Ammonite King Nahash. Nahash and David teamed up and together took on Saul and his army. Nahash eventually died and David, who succeeded Saul as King of Israel, tried to reach out to Nahash’s son King Hanun, but Hanun and his advisors became leery of David’s motives.

David’s men tried to express sorrow for Nahash’s death. Instead of accepting David’s offer of peace and alliance, Hanun humiliated the envoys by shaving their beards and cutting off their garments in the middle.

If Nahash would have taken the time to confirm David’s intentions, things would have turned out differently. Instead of harmonious relations, war broke out between them, and Israel defeated Nahash’s kingdom in Aram.

It didn’t take long for Hanun to decide that King David was insincere in reaching out to give consolation regarding his father’s death. But, he was dead wrong in his analysis.

King Hanun was easily influenced by his princes. Just like Hanun, we allow our friends, spouses, employees and previous experiences to color our attitudes, knowing full-well that adhering to God’s Word should be the primary motive in guiding our actions. Hanun’s princes should have given him time to think through and evaluate David’s kindness.

Instead they asked:

  • Do you think that David’s servants came to Hanum in the land of the people of Ammon to comfort him?
  • Did you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you?
  • Did his servants not come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?

In these questions, we see an unreliable group of people who probably had their own motives and agenda in mind to influence the King.

When we look at others, our mind, soul and spirit should be in alignment with the mind of Christ. Seeking God’s perspective on our psyche, spiritual life, and experiences guides us to a true discernment of a person’s motives; this helps us assist them in becoming in tune with God’s ultimate will for their lives.

Through prayer, the Holy Spirit’s guidance and a deep desire to live in the spiritual realm, we can gain an understanding of the intentions of others—most of the time!

The Bible says,

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” (Luke 6:37)

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

What Does the Bible Mean When It Says, “We Are Not to Judge Others”?

In an article titled, What does the Bible mean that we are not to judge others? by GotQuestions.org, it says:

  • The Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean there should be no mechanism for dealing with sin. Christians are often accused of judging or intolerance when they speak out against sin. But opposing sin is not wrong.
  • The Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean we cannot show discernment. Jesus is giving us permission to tell right from wrong. In Matthew 7:15-16, Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them”—the false prophets.
  • Jesus gives a direct command to judge: Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. (John 7:24)
  • We are always to be gentle toward everyone. Harsh, unforgiving judgment is wrong. (Titus 3:2)
  • Self-righteous judgment is wrong. We are called to humility, and God opposes the proud. (James 4:6)
  • Untrue judgment is wrong. The Bible says to slander no one. (Titus 3:2)
  • Believers are warned against judging others unfairly or unrighteously, but Jesus commends right judgment. (John 7:24) ²

When sin is involved, discerning the motives of others might be the difference between leading a person back to the Lord or letting him continue in sin, thus having him miss out on God’s best for his life.

One time, a prominent member on the school board of the Christian school where I was employed either didn’t like me or misunderstood my motives. Unfortunately, it resulted in me losing my job. Being unjustly criticized (without recourse) by another purported Christ-follower was an extremely painful experience. In a situation like this, a discussion of the situation would have been very helpful in my understanding the member’s motives and, eventually, my forgiving this action. Instead, long years of speculation have occurred.

Another time, one of my best friends misunderstood why I did not congratulate her and her daughter when they “walked down the aisle” upon her daughter’s acceptance of Christ. I was oblivious to the hurt feelings my friend experienced and how upset she was with me. Providentially, my friend called me up and brought my attention to her hurt feelings; thus, reconciliation occurred immediately.

In the first situation, there was no room for discussion, and years and years have passed where I am still haunted about what happened regarding “being let go” because there was no resolution.

In the second scenario, motives were discussed, handled, forgiven, and we were able to move on to a life-long friendship which is deeper than ever because we learned the correct way to handle it.

Discerning the Motives of Others

Reading others’ motives is a skill.

It’s important to remember that not all people’s motives are bad. Many motives are downright positive, e.g. wanting to help someone be all the Lord wants them to be.

In How to Read People’s Motives by Western Mastery, this article discusses why we might want to discern the motives of others.

Their reasoning is because when we know the motives of others, it helps us to know their intentions, helps us to gain insight, how to respond, and how to address their behaviors; ³

When we want to help others to yield their lives to Christ and to His character, discerning their motives might be just the catalyst the Lord wants to use to change their lives.

Misreading the Intentions of Others

On the other hand, it is extremely easy to make a snap judgment about someone or their behavior. Misreading others’ intentions is quite probable. We can misconstrue why people are jealous, fearful, and/or lazy.

We must be extremely careful not to undermine a person or their behavior without cause.

For instance, jealousy can cause a person to question a comrade’s motives because they might feel that their comrade is taking a rightly-earned place or position which the person believes should have instead been his own. Tragically, misreading motives could lead to future scheming, avoidance or even feeling unduly threatened or resentful in the comrade’s presence. In the workplace, this could culminate in a co-worker believing they deserve the promotion or the higher-paying position when, in fact, they do not deserve either one.

What Should We Do When We Question the Motives of Others?

Let’s face it—we are human beings and we sometimes wonder about the motives of others. It may be a cursory glance or a scrutinizing in-depth evaluation.

Some tips are:

  • Don’t rely on a preconceived notion about others. People change. God DOES change people;
  • Don’t depend exclusively on first impressions or our intuition;
  • Find out all the facts before judging a person’s motives (and especially before addressing them);
  • Put yourself in someone else’s shoes; and
  • If you have misjudged someone, apologize and reconcile as soon as possible.

A person’s background, personality, and life experiences may clash with yours, but that doesn’t make you right all the time and them wrong.

Being raised for most of my formative years in London, England or in the northeastern part of the United States, I may not think like some of my friends who were raised in the deep South. My life experiences and spiritual experiences are different than others, but I hope and pray that my friends and acquaintances will look at me through the eyes of God—instead of through my idiosyncrasies.

And especially not in a judgmental way.

When we depend on the Lord, our thinking about others and their motives will be guided by His light and in His wisdom. When we pursue God, He will show us any behaviors or actions He wants us address. Christian love and compassion should rule in our hearts—not negativity or criticism.

In his blog entry about motives, Joshua Kennon warns: “A final word of caution: I would urge you to consider keeping your thoughts on another person’s motivation to yourself.” ⁴ Until Jesus gives you the spiritual wisdom to discern where a person is coming from, keep your ears and eyes open for when, how or even whether you should speak.

When God gives us His wisdom, He will also give us guidance to know how to spur a person to hear God’s voice and experience a deep passion to follow Christ’s will.

Now, that is not being “judgmental”. Far from it!

It’s being a servant of God.

Bible Verses:

All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives. (Proverbs 16:2)

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word! (Proverbs 15:23)

I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:10)


Dear Jesus,

I am prone at times to wonder what the thoughts or motives are of others are. I also understand that people, even those I consider friends, question my motives every now and then. I occasionally need my motives questioned and confronted in love. God, please give me Your mind. Give me Your discernment. Give me Your patience. Give me Your ability to speak only when You have led me to do so. Let my life be a replica of You. Lord, I want to represent You in all I do. I really do.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God Bless

Member of IWA-Inspirational Writers Alive!

Member of Biblegateway Bloggers #bgbg2

All Bible verses use the New American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

Edited by E. Johnson

Works Cited

¹ McFadden, Robert D. “Army Doctor Held in Ft. Hood Rampage.” The New York Times, 5 Nov 2009. www.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/us/06forthood.html.

² “What does the Bible mean that we are not to judge others?” Accessed 8 Oct 2018. https://www.gotquestions.org/do-not-judge.html.

³ “How to Read People’s Motives.” Western Mastery. December 28, 2016. Accessed 2018.8 Oct 2018. http://www.westernmastery.com/2016/12/28/understanding-the-motivation-behind-peoples-actions/

⁴ Kennon, Joshua. “To Have a More Successful Life, Understand the Motivations and Motives of Yourself and the People Around You.” Accessed 20 Oct 2018. http://JoshuaKeenan.com/motives-and-motivations-matter.

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Anthony Bourdain and Suicide

Last night I watched “Remembering Anthony Bourdain”—CNN’s television show honoring Anthony Bourdain. Known as a good-looking talented man, author of many books, a culinary genius, and a travel documentarian, Bourdain was discovered unresponsive in his Kaysersberg, France hotel room having hung himself by suicide. Recently, his “claim to fame” included his trips around the world documenting the cuisine, politics, people, and cultures in his show titled “Parts Unknown” for CNN.

As I watched the show, I was drawn to our similarities.

  • We both enjoy/enjoyed writing. I’m a novice, and he was a professional journalist.
  • We both enjoy/enjoyed social issues. One of my college majors was Sociology while Bourdain enjoyed all things sociological like culture, customs, countries.
  • We both love/loved the beautiful North Atlantic coastline.
  • We both stretch/stretched ourselves by asking people questions because we are interested in their lives and we like/liked to know what makes people tick.
  • We were both born in New York City.
  • We both came from a Catholic/Jewish background.
  • We both attended good colleges. Baylor for me; Vassar for him although he left after two years to continue his education at The Culinary Institute of America.
  • He loved to learn and so do I. In educational terms, we could both call ourselves lifelong learners.

On Bourdain’s arm is a tattoo inscribed with the sentence, “I am certain of nothing.”   As I ponder his life, his achievements and his personality, I believe he could have been used greatly by God. I’m not one to judge people as to whether God’s grace is a part of one’s life or not, but his fruit was probably evident that he rarely thought of God or God’s provision in his life. He battled demons on and off his entire life: drinking, drugs, profanity, brashness, and more.

I say all this to say, it is very sad that Bourdain committed suicide. It’s a hard pill to swallow when we realize that just a word, a touch, or an encouragement may have swayed his decision.

What would Bourdain’s life have been if he had believed that God was the source of his strength, the guidance of his career, the love of his life? Only God knows the answer to that question. But, I bet he could have been an outstanding Christ-follower. I even ask myself, “What would my life have been if I had not believed in Christ?” Not good, that is for sure.

Because there have been so many suicides recently in the news, republishing my article titled, “Suicide: 7 Reasons People Committed Suicide in the Bible” seems like the right thing to do. May it give my readers some thoughts to mull around and hopefully gain a renewed interest in God and what He can do in your life or in the life of a beloved friend or family member.

If you are contemplating suicide, “DON’T!” Call a friend, family member, or the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.


Suicide: 7 Reasons People Committed Suicide in the Bible [Reprint]

I  once went to the viewing of a young adult who committed suicide. When greeting the parents, I experienced something I will never forget—the big, long hug from a desperate mom—the deep cry of a distraught wife—and the complete agony of a father.

It is the father’s furrowed face I want to keep etched in my mind—for no other reason, but to recall how awful suicide affects those involved. As I looked into the face of the father, his eyes penetrated mine. I’ve never seen such despondency, hopelessness, and despair before in my entire life. Although his eyes were empty, his countenance was reaching out for me to tell him the reason he was sitting in that funeral home pew was a bad dream and that what had just happened really didn’t happen. But, I couldn’t and neither could anyone else.

Suicide affects the family, friends, and acquaintances. It even affects those who have no connection to the suicide through reading about it or hearing about it. It is a tragedy that brings sadness to so many. The “why” question dwells in the minds of all. Thoughts swirl in the mind of those who knew the victim.

“I wish I would have kept in close contact.”

“What could I have done to prevent this senseless act?”

“Why didn’t I see it coming?”

“Why, why, why?”

In questioning this tragedy, I decided to research suicides in the Bible. I found seven people who committed suicide. This list may not be exhaustive, but it gives a glimpse into the workings of the human mind and maybe, just maybe, it will help others.


  1. Regret

    Judas Iscariot hanged himself.

Judas was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. He was the treasurer for the disciples. He was responsible for their funds and distributing them as needed. He betrayed Jesus by leading Jewish officials to him in order to receive 30 silver coins. Once he discovered that the Jews were going to kill Jesus, he brought the money back to the Jewish officials and threw it on the temple floor. Many say Judas’ motivation was greed. No matter what his true motivation was, it was obvious he regretted his action. Not knowing how to handle that regret and remorse resulted in him hanging himself.

And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5

Examples of Present Day Regret: Not having enough confidence in oneself; regret in chosen occupation; breakups; loved one passes away.

  1. Humiliation

    Abimelech, Son of Gideon ordered his armor-bearer to kill him.

Abimelech ruled Israel for three years. Some say that he should not be counted as a king because he was not anointed by God. During his reign, he destroyed the city of Shechem. After that, he attacked the city of Thebez. During that siege, a woman dropped a millstone on his head, wounding him. He was embarrassed that he would be known as being killed by a woman, so he asked his armor-bearer to kill him. And, the armor-bearer did.

Then he called quickly to the young man his armor-bearer and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’” And his young man thrust him through, and he died. Judges 9:54

Examples of Present Day Humiliation: Embarrassed by friends or family members; depression; lack of self-confidence; embarrassed by abuse; bullying; mental illness; feeling of hopelessness; shame.

  1. Bullying

    Samson caused a disaster and killed himself along with others.

Samson was a Judge of the tribe of Dan. He was chosen by Jewish leaders before Israel chose to have Kings. Due to being a Nazarite, his life was dedicated to God. He was known for his Herculean strength. He is most famous for his Philistine wife Delilah who continually betrayed and humiliated him. She eventually shaved Samson’s hair off and the Philistines captured him and gouged out his eyes. He was put in prison. He was called out of prison to be made fun of again. He was tied to pillars and he pulled down the entire temple. The temple collapsed destroying both his life and the lives of many others.

And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life. Judges 16:30

Examples of Present Day Bullying: Friends making fun of each other; being laughed at; being bullied for one’s weaknesses (appearances, intelligence); being made fun of behind one’s back; being nagged.

  1. Fear

    King Saul fell on his own sword.

King Saul was Israel’s first king. He tried to overtake the city of Bethsham. He wanted complete control over the trade routes. But, the armies of the Philistines fought against the men of Saul. They killed Saul’s three sons: Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. Saul was wounded in the battle. He asked his armor-bearer to slay him, but he wouldn’t, so he fell on his sword.

Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa.  And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore, Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. 1 Samuel 31:1-4

Examples of Present Day Fear: Desire to be free of pain; terminal illnesses; fear of being mocked, fear of possible abuse, actual verbal abuse; actual physical abuse; sexual ridicule; mocked for being poor, handicapped, judged; fear of mistreatment.

  1. Witnessing Violence or Death

    Saul’s armor-bearer fell on his own sword.

The purpose of an armor bearer in the Bible was to be by their king’s side during dangerous times. Armor bearers were chosen by kings because they were supposed to be known as very brave people. Possibly, Saul’s armor-bearer could not deal with the guilt of disobeying King Saul’s command to kill him or maybe he couldn’t accept that he just witnessed the violent death of someone else – King Saul.

And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. 1 Samuel 31:5

Examples of Present Day Witnessing Violence or Death: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; witnessing abuse (domestic or otherwise); being traumatized by witnessing natural disasters; being traumatized by witnessing another suicide; guilt they could have made a difference in someone’s decision to take their own life; terrorism.

  1. Powerlessness

    Ahithopel planned his suicide, put his house in order, and hanged himself.

Ahithopel was King David’s counselor. But, at one point, he deserted King David and went to serve King David’s son Absolom. Hushai was known to be Absalom’s friend and trusted counselor.  Absalom valued Hushai’s counseling skills more than Ahithophel’s skills. That disturbed Ahithophel, so he went home to Giloh, put his house in order, then hanged himself.

When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father. 2 Samuel 17:23

Examples of Present Day Powerlessness: Being insulted; not being viewed as worthy or important;  jealous of other people (co-workers, family members, peers); elder abuse; being talked about behind your back; inability to break a drug habit; not being respected.

  1. Distress

    Zimri killed himself and others by fire.

Zimri was a chariot commander. He murdered King Elah and all his family in Tirzah. He succeeded King Elah as king, but only for seven days. The army elected Omri as king instead of him. He wanted power and was distressed that the army was going to besiege Tirzah. He was unable to cope regarding the besiege of Tirzah and the loss of position so he set the palace on fire killing himself along with many others.

And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire and died. 1 Kings 16:18

Examples of Present Day Distress: Loss of job; unemployment; grades; death of a family member or someone close; divorce; injury; being abused; being neglected; trouble with the law; alcoholism; not getting into the college of choice; pressure to be someone you aren’t; moral distress; comparing your situation to others.

To all who are reading this article, remember that all problems can be fixed. The only problem that can’t be fixed is suicide.

If you recognize any of these examples in your life or in the faces of those you come in contact with, please get help. Don’t wait. It may be too late, and we don’t want that. And, if for some reason, you do encounter a suicide and are having a hard time dealing with it (which happens to a lot of people), please get some counseling. Talk to a friend, spouse, parent, mentor, minister, or professional counselor. Let’s try as much as we can to help others so we don’t have to experience the despondency, hopelessness, and despair in the faces of those left behind.

God Bless,


Bible Verses: Above

Prayer: O LORD, suicide is tough. It’s so final. Lord, help me to always realize that there are always ways out of my problems and impress upon me that Your Holy Spirit and love can be my source of hope. Let me never be on the receiving end of a loved one’s suicide, but if I am please give me Your strength to deal with the situation. I pray for those in the midst of this suffering. I lift their heart and soul to you. Give them your comfort and love as no one or anything can. Keep my soul healthy in you. Let me call out for help when I need it and let me recognize those who need my help before it is too late. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Losch, Richard. All the People in the Bible: An A-Z Guide to the Saints, Scoundrels, and Other Characters in Scripture. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2008.

Miller, Stephen. Who’s Who & Where’s Where in the Bible? Uhrichsville: Barbour, 2012.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version containing the Old and New Testament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2001. [All verses come from the English Standard Bible unless noted otherwise]

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Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines moving as “changing [a] place or position as relating to the activity or process of moving to a different place to live or work.”

Have you ever had to move in one way or another? Most of us will answer an astounding “YES” to that question. Maybe you have moved to a new house, a new job, a new spiritual journey, or a new stage of life.

Just recently, I encountered moving home to the U.S. after living in Nigeria. I am in the process of adjusting. Many days I find myself pondering or exploring how to pick up the pieces left behind; how to console myself when my friends have moved on in my absence; how to not miss the past; and how to basically get back into the swing of Western culture.

It is tough readjusting. While I feel I “deserve” an adjustment phase, it probably doesn’t help that I am holding on to the past as tightly as children hold on to their security blankets. I am still thinking of my Lagos church, my Lagos Bible study, my Lagos apartment, my newly found Lagos friends, The Punch (the best Nigerian newspaper), and even the little Lagos fabric store at the mall. I miss my Lagos driver and my Lagos housekeeper. And, I don’t miss them so much for their service as I do for their camaraderie. And, all this deep stirring in my heart is creating an emotional response that I am not too proud of.

Maybe you are experiencing a loss of some kind: a job loss, a painful divorce, or a death in the family.  I have been sitting on my couch, way more than I should be lately, cradling a pity-party in my heart and mourning my loss. So, I decided to research how two Bible characters dealt with moving on – one who did so the wrong way and one who did it the right way. And, incidentally, both are named SAUL!

In the Old Testament, King Saul was chosen by the prophet Samuel to be Israel’s first king. King Saul started out as a righteous man, but he allowed his jealousy to get the best of him. When David returned from killing Goliath, 1 Samuel 18:7-9 states, “And the women responded as they laughed and frolicked, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very angry, for the saying displeased him; and he said, ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed only thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?’ And Saul [jealously] eyed David from that day forward.” Saul’s problem was he foresaw a “JOB LOSS” and he couldn’t accept that he would have to move on. Read 1 Samuel 18-31.

The process King Saul embraced in order NOT TO HAVE TO MOVE ON involved:

–          He harbored ill-feelings and jealousy;

–          He tried to kill [David];

–          He encountered evil spirits;

–          He became angry;

–          He actively sought evil;

–          He lived an inconsistent life towards God;

–          He sought a medium instead of God;

–          He committed suicide.

Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier for King Saul to deal with his ill-feelings and jealousy? He could then have moved on and accepted God’s will and proceeded to the next phase of his life gracefully and with God by his side?

Now, let’s look at someone who had to move on – someone who did it the right way.

In the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus (who later became known as Paul), a die-hard Jew, moved from being a relentless persecutor of believers to a saved follower of Jesus Christ. Saul ravaged the church with threats and actually murdered Christ’s disciples along the way. But one day, on the way to Damascus, a light shone from heaven and Saul came face to face with Jesus’ voice. He became a new man in Christ. After his conversion, Paul was without sight, food, and drink for three days. But as only the Lord can do, He brought Ananias into his life to encourage him in the Lord. He was baptized, ate, and then was strengthened. Paul stayed with Jesus’ disciples being trained in the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. After his training (and adjustment period), Paul, moved into proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues and beyond. Read Acts 9.

The process Paul used to get him to the place of MOVING ON involved:

–          He embraced his change;

–          He allowed for time of solitude;

–          He accepted encouragement;

–          He strengthened himself by spending time in counseling and training;

–          He actively involved himself in God’s work.

Now, which approach seems best to you – King Saul’s or Saul of Tarsus’ approach?

We all go through transitions in life. Don’t be afraid of the changes in your life. We get hung up on our changes because we are emotional beings. Sometimes we don’t like change, while other times, we do. For you, your transition may involve laughing, smiling, tears, and/or sorrow. We will always have events and circumstances that will confront us. Moving away, moving on, or moving forward brings their own unique challenges, hardships, and/or excitement. Let’s try to use the experiences we face today as a springboard to focus on what is yet to come in God’s eyes. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I think that what God is telling me from this study personally is, “Patti, don’t be afraid of the changes in your life. I sent you to Nigeria; and, I just sent you back. I know what I am doing. Follow your own advice, and DON’T REMOVE ME FROM YOUR MOVES.”

And likewise, “Don’t remove God from your moves.” He knows exactly what He is doing.


Moving Away Verse:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Moving On Verse:

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

Moving Forward Verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV