SN – 2022 Feb 19: Leadership Challenges – King Saul. Temptation or Testing. Lust of the Flesh & Eyes & Pride of Life.

SN 19 February 2022

Leadership Challenges and Testing.

Study based on 1 Samuel 15 – King Saul

The life of King Saul gives us insight into the challenges that leaders may face…

… even though chosen and anointed by God to lead His people.

There are definitely going to be tests and temptations, a proving that indeed one is worthy 

– By Satan, to ensure that one fails and doesn’t fulfill divine destiny >> Temptation

– By God, to ensure one passes and fulfills (is elevated) into the next level towards divine destiny

Have you considered my servant Job…Job 1:8, Job 2:3

Luke 22:31-32 (NKJV)

– And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

– But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

– So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 

– No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

The basic objective of a test is for one to pass…

…while that of a temptation is for one to fail.

Life is about choices…

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

– This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

…and choices have consequences 

Romans 6:16 (NIV)

– Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Therefore before launching into ministry

…any work for the Lord is wise to consider and count the cost …Luke 14:27-30

It is about fighting a fight, finishing a race and keeping the faith through it all …2 Timothy 4:7

… And not running aimlessly, but in such a way as to win the prize… 1 Corinthians 9 

Jesus temptation in the wilderness ( Luke 4:4-13) 

… adequately addresses the main areas of testing / temptation

… that every leader aspiring for the next level in ministry will go through

The leadership trials can be basically categorized into …

– Lust of the flesh

– Lust of the eyes

– Pride of life

Welcome to the sharing this day

And may it be a blessing…

Leadership Trials for the next level

>> *Lust of the flesh -* ( Body)

…turning stones into bread

…but… man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God

… focus on satisfying the flesh (carnal pleasure)

_*E.g.  When I use ministry for selfish interest & gain*_

– Test on how I relate to self – self government ??

_… I should not neglect the guidance of the Word ( directed by the Spirit of God) in  governing my life._

Galatians 5:13‭, ‬16‭-‬18‭, ‬24 NIV

– You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh (selfish interests…) ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

– So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

– For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

– But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

– Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

> Thinking first of others before (or just as) ourselves – Love your neighbor as yourself

>> *Lust of the eyes* – (Heart; Soul – Mind, Will, Emotions)

… offered authority over kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship

…but… Worship and serve only the Lord our God

Romans 6:16 (NIV)

– Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Focus on ‘Soul / Heart’ pleasure –

… Such as being ‘seen’ by others –  to be powerful, wise, rich… 

… but the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, understood only by the Lord, who searches the heart and tests the mind (part of the soul…) and rewards according to the fruit of the doings…Jeremiah 17:9-10 

..Indeed the Lord judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart ( my motives)… Hebrews 4:12

_*E.g. When I use ministry to gain adoration & service from others

Proverbs 21:4 NKJV

– A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin.

On a broader sense – It is a test on how I relate outward – my focus – Idol 

… I should seek first (focus on, idolize, prioritize…)  the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things will fall into place….Matthew 6:33

…for my heart follows (is where / with) what I treasure (focus on, idolize…) …. Matthew 6:21

… Therefore I should keep my heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life (issues I have in life??)…Proverbs 4:23

Another perspective ..

It is the thoughts and intentions of the heart (motives) behind my ( outward, observable) actions.

Matthew 5:28‭-‬29 NKJV

– But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 

– If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Acts 9:17‭-‬18 NKJV

– And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

– Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

>> *Pride of life* (Spirit)

As the Son of God, throw yourself down from the temple and God will immediately come to your aide…

…but…You shall not tempt (try) God

Thinking I am or equal to God!!

… lacking fear of the Lord

…trusting or believing in my ability to be a ‘god’ – to influence and control the supernatural (God), my environment ( others & surroundings) and self. 

_*It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh ( human effort) profits nothing.*_ The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life…John 6:63

The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight….Proverbs 9:10 (AMP)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,… 1 Peter 5:6

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”… Luke 14:11

– Test on how I relate to God??


…God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth… John 4:24

>> Jesus always submitted to the Word

Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV)

*Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;*

*in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.*

*Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.*

Therefore …

*Critical for leadership success into the next level…*

… in contrast to that of Saul…

– Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

– For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

– And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

… I John 2:15‭-‬17 NKJV

James 1:13‭-‬15 NLT

– And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

– Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

– These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 AMPC

THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,

…Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Ps. 110:1.]


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