Election Year...The Temptation Of Power
Here we are once again in the middle of a Presidential race trying to make sense of all the promises and commitments made by the candidates. Each one is doing whatever it takes to convince us that they are the best man or woman for the job of leading the most powerful and influential nation in the world. As a Christian and especially as a pastor, I’m aware that there are not only secular aspects and issues involved when it comes to electing someone to this office, but there are also spiritual issues at work. Let me explain. (Please be patient!)
Many of the candidates began their bid for the most powerful and influential job in the world as friends and in some cases mentors, but now find themselves at odds, deeply divided, attacking one another and destroying friendships and relationships. One of the candidates used the term “Carpet Bomb” when asked how he would deal with ISIS. That’s exactly what he and the others have done and are doing. They’ve unleashed an all out assault against each other not caring who gets destroyed or which relationships are permanently damaged in the process.
The unfortunate thing is, that this is perfectly normal, expected and accepted in the political arena. It is the “power play” that says, “achieve the goal at any cost no matter what damage may occur.” These are the actions and results of “The Temptation of Power” that many succumb to in life.
It has to take a significant amount of self-reliance and ego to convince yourself and others that you are the best and most qualified individual to be the President of the United States of America. Those attitudes may be necessary and even lauded when it comes to politics and winning at any cost, but behind the words and actions are spiritual forces at work. It is a deceptive force that divides and conquers, leading those who use these tactics to believe they are winners when in reality they are the real losers. My point?
When this “win at any cost, get what I want no matter who gets hurt” attitude filters into the hearts and minds of God’s people and into the Church, it devastates, destroys and deceives people. It is a spiritual force that not only adversely impacts the main players, but also the innocent, (and not so innocent), who are caught in the fray.
This was a strategy used against Jesus by Satan in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 4. Satan used the “I’ll give you all of the kingdoms if” ploy. The Temptation of Power and Rule. Satan appealed to ego and self-reliance. Read the chapter. Satan loses again!
In the Gospel of Mark 3:25, we are told, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”
We also see this demonic spirit played out in the life of King David and his son Absalom. Read 2 Samuel chapters 13, 14, and 15 for reference. Much has been written about “The Absalom Spirit” its demonic, divisive, destructive, and self-destructive consequences upon those who are assaulted by it.
The Absalom Spirit is rooted in a basic distrust and resentment of authority. The Absalom Spirit is an independent spirit unwilling to accept spiritual advice, basing all choices on self-fulfillment and selfish ambition. The Absalom Spirit has a cloak of deception based upon bitterness, fear, unresolved conflicts, and anger. The Absalom Spirit is basically rooted in hidden agendas and deceptive alliances. The Absalom Spirit is rooted in pride and rebellion out of a contaminated heart of self ambition disguised to serve others. They stand at the door of the city and look for people who are disconnected or have problems. It is self-promoting, and creates an image designed to impress, which is intended to manipulate the discontented, promising things would be better if only they were in authority. The Absalom Spirit is rooted in stealing the hearts of people who are under another’s authority in order to eventually replace authority. The bottom line of the Absalom Spirit is that it is based in rebellion and betrayal of all that is honorable.
Sadly, Absalom’s life ended tragically. He prided himself with his appearance and especially his hair. He only cut his hair once a year so it was long and flowing. Absalom raised an army to war against his father’s. During a battle 20,000 of his men were killed, forcing Absalom to run away on a quick running mule. In the process of running his hair got caught in the branches of an oak tree where he hung until he was speared by Joab, the leader of his father’s army. The pride that caused him to lift up his head (authority) over his fathers eventually killed him. This is the Spirit of Absalom which not only rears its ugly head in the political and business arenas, but more predominantly in the Church world. The tragic end is the same in all cases.
In the Gospel of John 10:10 we read, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”
Satan will always want to divide and draw away people from God’s perfect will and plan for their lives in exchange for his imperfect and devastating plan. He will use whatsoever and whomsoever to try and bring his plan to pass. Nothing good ever comes from Satan’s promises. His native language is deception.
But Jesus, on the other hand, offers everyone a different outcome. Continuing with John 10:10, the last portion of that scripture speaks to us about what Jesus has for those who will follow Him. It reads, “I came that they (you and I) may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
What about the elections? I’ll leave that to you, God and His word. The purpose of this post is simply this: Beware of “The Temptation of Power” and the Absalom Spirit. Let’s not follow the lead and tactics of the politicians, but rather mimic the life of Jesus and His attitudes outlined in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5. We will always be winners and be blessed.
Thank you for your prayers and may God Bless you and your family.
Pastor Richard Salazar
Senior Pastor New Harvest Christian Fellowship Norwalk