The Heart of a Leader
1 Samuel 24:1-22
June 12-13, 2021
I tell you that there is a distinct need for leadership. Anytime there are troubles, leadership must arise and we are living of course in times of great trouble. Scripture tells us that there are greater troubles in front of us. As we draw near to the latter days, greater and greater troubles will arise. I'm not just speaking about the global or geopolitical scope of things. Leadership is needed even on the individual level, whether there's all manner of difficulty and troubles and conflicts in relationships and marriages or finances or work, or many, many areas where there can be troubles and anytime there's trouble, there's a need for leadership. Now, the story that unfolds in 1st Samuel 24. David is facing troubles of epic proportions. Literally he's in danger of his life. Now how he responds to those troubles is a masterclass in leadership. Anyone who's ever desired or wanted to learn about leadership will do well to take hold of this chapter and the principles that are in it.
The backstory is that David, after he defeated the Philistine giant, became famous in Israel. As you can well imagine. People loved him and king Saul attached David to his army, made him commander of a thousand men. David, wherever he went, he prospered. The hand of God was on it. He was anointed as we know, and he prospered wherever he went. King Saul felt very threatened by David because if you remember, the prophet Samuel had already told king Saul that God rejected him as king because king Saul had rejected God, he would not follow after the ways of God. He said, you reject God, God has rejected you. Then he says, and he has sought out a man after his own heart, so Saul is watching. Who is this man? Then he sees David arising.
He's threatened by him. Saul refuses to accept God's will on this. He's finding himself now wrestling against God, kicking against the gods you might say, raging against David, feeling very threatened. He's jealous, he's angry. He literally is trying to take David's life. He is trying to kill the hero of Israel. Every time David escapes. Finally he fled into the wilderness to a place called the Cave of Adullam. An interesting thing happens there. This happens in chapter 22. It tells us that everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, everyone who was discontented gathered to David and he became captain over them. This is a rag tag group of malcontents. David makes mighty men out of them. Now later 200 more malcontents joined, and he's got a ragtag militia that becomes a band of warriors, a band of brothers, and they become mighty men.
Saul then pursues with his army, he is like serious. In fact, in chapter 23, he almost has David. There was an occasion where David is on one side of the mountain and Saul's men are on the other side of the mountain and are just about to surround David to capture him when word comes that the Philistines have made a raid on the land, and so Saul has the break-off pursuit in order to deal with this incursion into their territory by the Philistines. David escapes yet again, and he made his way to Ein Gedi. That's where chapter 24 unfolds. Whenever we go to Israel, we love going to Ein Gedi. Now it is desert and desert and desert except for Ein Gedi. You go down to the Dead Sea, down into the bowl of the Dead Sea you might say, and it's right there on the west side of the Dead Sea.
There is beautiful because water comes down from the Craigs of the Judean mountains and just crashing down and it's a beautiful place. We love going there because we can see the scene unfolding. There are many caves in the Hills, there are many wild goats there. It's abundant with these ibex or wild goats. In fact, the Hebrew word Ein Gedi literally means the spring of wild goats. Saul, when he returned from pursuing the Philistines, is told that David is in Ein Gedi. He takes 3000 of his choice chosen then like special forces to seek after David. At Ein Gedi Soul enters a cave to relieve himself. This scripture is very open about the human. He goes into the cave to relieve himself.
It just so happened to be the exact cave in which David and his men were hiding in the inner recesses. Saul has literally been placed in David's hand. How would he respond? He has a decision now. He's at a crux point of decision. There's no soldiers around Saul, he's got no security. Literally, Saul has been given to him right in his hand, the tables have been turned. David has the opportunity for revenge to take the life of his enemy. David's men believed this was a God thing, God did this. Look what God did. Seize the moment. Take his life. Seize the moment. All 600 of his men telling him, take the moment, seize his life.
The story is about faith. It's about character. All of us make decisions. In fact, if you look back on your life, you will find that there are key decisions that are like hinge points, your life turns on the decisions you make. How will you decide by what principles, what will guide you?
You and I are called to live differently than the rest of the world. We are called to live by the character of God within us and the faith that reside within our soul. This is a story about leadership, about the principles that guide a leader. It's a masterclass. Let's read it chapter 24:1. "Came about that when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told behold, David is in the wilderness of Ein Gedi. Saul took 3000 chosen men from Israel, went to seek David and his men in front of the rocks of the wild goats. He came to the sheep folds on the way where there was a cave.
Saul went into to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. David and the men of David said to him, behold, this is the day of which the Lord set." Now this is a word that God gave to David. We don't know when this happened. We have it recorded here. At some point, David got a word from a prophet or priest that this word was spoken. It says behold, a word of the Lord behold, I'm about to give your enemy into your hand and you shall do to him as it seems good to you. Now, this is a very interesting word.
What does it mean? How does it be applied? The men around David believe this is a God thing. See, God had already told you that your enemy would come into your hand. It's a God thing. David arose, cut off the edge of Saul's robe secretly. Now, by the way, when I was young and I read this story, I used to think, how is it possible that Saul cannot hear this many men in the cave. Then when you go there, it like opens your mind to it. Oh, now I see, because the water is raging down the Craig's of the rocks and thunderously echoing through the cave. There's 3000 men and horses outside of the cave. David, therefore can sneak up secretly cutting off the edge of his robe, verse five. "It came about afterwards that David conscious bothered him, that he had cut off the edge of Saul's robe.
He said to his men, far be it from me, because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my Lord, the Lord's anointed. Far, be it from me to stretch out my hand against him because he is the Lord's anointed," which is to say, God anointed him, God put him there and God's going to have to take him out because I won't do it. "David persuaded his men with these words and he did not allow them to rise up against Saul. Saul rose, left the cave and went on his way. Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul." Now you can imagine the scene. Saul leaves the cave, goes down towards the base and David then appears at the mouth of the cave. My Lord, the king, when Saul looked behind him, there was David who bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself.
Tremendous show of respect, of honor. Then David said, this speech, it's very famous. "Why do you listen to the words of men that say behold David seeks to harm you, behold this day, your eyes have seen the Lord had given you today into my hand in the cave, some said to kill you," actually they all did, "But my eye had pity on you and I said, I will not stretch out my hand against my Lord, for he is the Lord's anointed. Now my father, see, indeed. See the edge of the robe in my hand. For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and I did not kill you. No one perceived that there is no evil and there is no rebellion in my hands. I have not sinned against you though you are lying in wait to take my life.
May the Lord judge between you and me and may the lord of Benjamin on you. My hand will not be against you. You might presume me for 20 years. I will never be against you. My hand will never be against you. For as the Proverbs of the ancient saying, out of the wicked comes forth wickedness but my hand, it will not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out, whom are you pursuing? That dog? A single flee?
The Lord, therefore judge and decide between you and me and may he see and that he plead my cause and deliver me from your hand. God will do it because I will not. Now it came about that when David finished speaking these words to Saul that Saul is deeply moved by these words. Is that your voice, my son, David, and Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, you are more righteous than I. For you have dealt well with me while I have dealt wickedly with you.
You have declared today that you have done good that the Lord delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. If a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away and safely in safety? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. Now I know. I know that you shall surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established by your hand. I see It.
Swear to me now by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father's house. David swore it and Saul went to his home and David and his men went to the strongholds." What an amazing story. Absolutely, a powerful example of the heart of a leader. There is so much to take hold of so much to apply. There are principles that guide decisions that a leader must make. Let me suggest this principle.
I. The End Does Not Justify the Means
The end does not justify the means. It would have been so much better for Israel had not Saul been king. That would be the end, a good end. Bu by what means? I'm not going to do it. David understands the principle, he's faced with a dilemma. What do you do? Does the end justify it? The Italian philosopher, let me bring up an interesting quote from an Italian philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli. I just love saying it anyway. Niccolo Machiavelli had a number of things that he wrote whose writings, no, this is important.
Whose writings became the underpinnings of modern political theory. He wrote, "Although the act condemns the doer, the end may justify him." He believed that unscrupulous and immoral actions may be necessary if it brings about a desired result. Such statements give him a reputation of being an immoral cynic. In fact, in our modern time, the word Machiavellian refers to someone who is cunning, scheming and unscrupulous.
A. God’s ways are higher than man’s ways
All of that to say, you need a philosophy of life. You got to decide by what philosophy will your life be lived? You need a philosophy of life. In fact, the very word philosophy means the love of wisdom. I submit that we need God's wisdom that we need God's principles. Here's why, because God's ways are higher than man's ways, that's why. If God's ways are higher, then we need that which is higher. For the Machiavellians of the world, live according to a worldly principle, but you and I are not called to live by a worldly principle.
We're in the kingdom of God. We need that which is higher. This comes from Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." If His thoughts and ways are higher, we need his thoughts, we need his ways so that we can live higher. David's men counseled him, take action, seize the moment, take his life so David must decide.
Before you can decide, you got to decide how you got to decide. By what principle, by what philosophy, by what approach? The men around him are even using God's word. Did not God say to you, I will give your enemy into your hand, do to him as it seems good to you, but God's word must be correctly applied. David decided there's a higher work here. There is something deeper at work. The Lord anointed him and the Lord Is going to have to be the one who removes him. David's soul is even troubled that he cut off the edge of his robe. Now, right there actually is another principle. If your soul is troubled within you, it may be very well, the holy spirit is trying to warn you, be very careful about what you're about to do. Have you ever felt that in your soul, you're disturbed in your heart and you just can sense that God has given you a warning, be very careful?
John 16:13, but he, the spirit of truth, when he comes, he will guide you into all the truth. David makes a decision. No one must touch Saul. He is the leader, he must decide. There is something deeper at work. 600 men say do otherwise. He says no. Once decided his heart is set and there's something wonderful that comes when you've come to recognize the right course. Psalm 57:7. "My heart is steadfast. Oh God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing. Yes, I will sing praises."
May I suggest that in God's word, there are straightforward commands and then there are principles, straightforward commands and principles. If God gives you a straightforward command then it's a straightforward command. You don't have to debate in your heart whether you have to steal. Scripture makes it quite clear. The word is a straightforward command. There are other principles that guide your character.
B. A leader leads
David made a decision according to the principles of God's word and his faith, the principle that guided him. This is the Lord's anointed. The Lord put him there and the Lord's going to have to take them out of there. I won't do it. I will not touch the Lords anointed. David's faith became the greater part of his decisions. He trusted God's ways re higher and that God would have the power to bring it about.
He leads. Now one of the great principles that is quite straightforward but important is that a leader leads. When we study about leadership in scripture, it's very common to look at the quality of a servant leader. We love a servant hearted leader, but we must also understand this principle, a leader leads. There are times when you stand up and lead 600 to one. They were all convinced. It's a God thing. Look, you have to admit.
David, this a very much appears to be a God thing. Look at the circumstances. Saul has come into this cave, the very cave. What a coincidence is that? There are no soldiers with him. There's no protection. He's literally given into your hand. Was there not a word of God that said that he would give you your enemy into your hand that you would do what seems good to you? There's the crux of it. What does seem good to you? The enemy is given into your hand.
What does seem good to you? Is this a question of character? Is this an opportunity to demonstrate a deeper character? A leader is not led by circumstances. The circumstances may appear to say one thing, but a leader looks deeper. There may be more at work than just the circumstances.
I was thinking of an illustration and I was reminded of a story from my own history. Many of you know my story. That is that God miraculously provided for Bible college. It was a miracle. We could not afford at all. God brought a benefactor, a man who said that he would pay for the entirety of it. All the way through the Boucher's program, all into seminary, he did it all.
Well, at one point, now here we are going to school, again we’re taking classes, and a woman comes up to me in the church in which we were going. She said, "Hey, I know you're going to Bible college. I'm very supportive. I encourage you. I want to give you a gift financially because I just received a big inheritance and I want to give you a gift." I said, "Well, thank you very much. God has already abundantly miraculously provided. I thank you for your heart. She said, "Oh no, no, I'm going to do something. Why don't you just write out your basic budget and I'll decide what I want to do." I said, "Okay."
I gave her a simple budget a few days later. She came back with a very amazingly generous check. I decided I would meet with the fellow who was the benefactor paying my way through Bible College. As I would do, I met with him every semester. I would give him my grades so that he could see I was really putting my heart and soul into this. I met with him and I said, “Hey, I wanted you to know that a woman who's anonymous has given us a very large gift. I want you to know in case maybe you want a break, you want us to use that instead, I'm just saying." He said, "You know what's interesting? We have never in the history of our company ever lost money. Here we are right now, we're actually losing money for the first time ever.”
Now, isn't that amazing? Look at this circumstance. The very moment that you're losing money, this woman comes and gives us this large check. Is that not a God thing? He says, "Oh, so that's how you see it?" I go, "Yes, is there a different way to see it?" He’s, "Yes, there is. This is how I see it. I made a commitment to the Lord. I said I would pay your way through Bible college. Now, just when we are losing money at the company, God brings an opportunity for me to renege on what I said. How convenient? Well, I don't renege on what I say. I do what I say. I don't care if it's the last dollar I spend, I'm going to pay your way through Bible college. You're not going to use that. You wait, you’ll see there's going to be a need. You don't even know what it is yet. You put that in the bank, there's a need coming and you'll have what it needs.”
In fact, a few months later, our car blew up. Not literally, but we needed a car and there was the money. Then he said this, he said, “Oh, there is just one more thing. This is my blessing. I'm not going to let anyone horn in on it. It's my blessing.” I'll tell you what? That was amazing. I learned something deep. Circumstances may not always be what they first appear. There may be something deeper at work.
Next semester, as a follow-up to the story, I met with him again, gave him my grades, and then I said, “By the way, you said that your company was losing money. Well, I've been very concerned and I've been praying for you.” He said, “Oh, you've been concerned. You've been praying for me. Well, you have no need to be concerned. We just signed the greatest largest contract we've ever signed. It's worth millions. Oh no, God is taking care of me. That was just a test.” It was amazing. There's a deeper thing at work.
Leaders look beyond the circumstances. David persuaded his men, would not allow them to rise up against Saul. David submitted and they led others accordingly. Here's an interesting revelation. Moses gave a famous speech to Israel. This is right before they entered the promised land. He gave a very famous speech. We call it the book of Deuteronomy. In that speech, he said, "One day you will have a king and when that day comes, this is what I want that king to do, notice Deuteronomy 17, it shall come about that when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests."
In other words, he is to write out for himself by hand a copy of the word of God with a priest on one side and another priest on the other side to make sure that not one word is missing and not one word is misspelled. Everything is written by hand. So that it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by carefully observing all the words of His law and His statutes. That is an amazing thing.
When a leader arises in Israel, this is what I'm asking. Let him write this out so that the word of God informs his decisions. I suggest that not only does the word of God inform the decision, the word of God also conforms the character. It transforms the character. You have the word of God written on your heart, it will transform who you are, and your faith then will arise so that His word informs your decisions.
David was not led by emotions. David is not led by the circumstances. David is not led by 600 men who were convinced that this was a God thing. There's something higher at work. He knew the principles of God's word that are higher. 1 Peter 2:17 honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. There's a whole bunch of them right there. Proverbs 24:29, do not say, thus I shall do to him as he has done to me. Don't say that. That is a principle of the world. That is a worldly principle. Whatever they do to you, you can do to them. Don't say this. This is a principle of the world. You're in the kingdom of heaven now. You're in the kingdom of God now. A whole different set of principles apply.
Romans 12:19, never take your own revenge beloved. You're in the kingdom of God now. A whole different set of principles apply. Leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay,” says the Lord. Which is to say, God settles all accounts. It takes faith to believe that. It takes faith to believe it. It takes faith not to try to take matters into your own hands and try to settle all accounts on your own. It takes faith to believe that God settles accounts. David believed it. Let the Lord judge between you and me but I will not raise a hand against you. God will do it.
C. Godly results require godly ways
Which is to say Godly results require Godly ways. In other words, God's will, God's way. Godly results require Godly ways.
Verse 13, David said to Saul, "Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness." What does that mean? Is that a mic drop moment that he's saying against Saul or was he saying it of himself? Notice that there is no wickedness in my heart towards you. I'm not embittered towards you. I take no vengeance on you. Now, Jesus said something very similar. Jesus said, the good man out of the good treasures of his heart brings forth what's good. You let the word of God be the treasure of your heart and you'll do that which is good. Good intentions must be followed by good actions. God's will must be done God's way. God's will, God's way.
Now, you come and you see this in relationships where one is convinced that the other needs to be changed. They may well need to be changed. You may have a very Godly desire in having that change, but how? By what means? God's will must be done God's way. You desire a Godly change, it must be brought about through a Godly means. Many times people will use ungodly means to try to bring something about. Well, they’ll bring criticism, or emotion, or yelling, or anger. These are not Godly things. These are ungodly things. Don't try to bring a Godly result through an ungodly means.
In 2 Timothy, Paul brings a principle of wisdom to guide the character of relationships. We all got to decide how are we going to be in our relationships. These are decisions that we make. that direct the course of our lives. How are we going to be in our relationships? 2 Timothy 2, Paul writes in this way, "The Lord's bondservant must not be quarrelsome." If you are a bondservant, if you're a servant of the Lord, he must not. You can see, now this is a principle of the Lord. That's a very strong word, must not be quarrelsome. He must be kind to all, able to teach, and patient when wronged. The Lord's bondservant must be patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition. If perhaps God may grant and repent this thing to the knowledge of the truth, that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil having been held captive by him to do his will.
Here is another great word I love out of Ephesians 4:29. Is a principle to guide your character and your faith in your relationships, "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth." That's a pretty big word. The key to it is the word, no, none, nada, no, none. Let no unwholesome word proceed through your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, the building up. This is the action of a man or a woman of character. This is the action of a bondservant of the Lord. Let only such a word proceed from your mouth as good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it would give grace to those who hear. We're called to live uncommonly. We're called to live spiritually. We're called to live because we're in the kingdom of God now.
II. Stay out of the Weeds of Conflict
Now, back to 1 Samuel 24. Here's another principle that we see out of the story. I captured this way to put it in our minds eye, "Stay out of the weeds of conflicts." Stay out of the weeds. Conflict, there's going to be conflict in life. We live in a troubled world with all kinds of imperfect people around us and we're imperfect ourselves and so there's going to be conflict. The conflicts can be messy. Conflicts can be ugly. Stay out of the weeds. Stay out of the weeds of it. Saul, you may be pursuing me but my hand will never be against you. I won't do it. I will not do it.
A. Your part is peace
In other words, your part is peace. Stay out of the weeds of the conflict because you are a bondservant of the Lord. Your part is peace.
David calls out to Saul in verse 11. No one perceived that there's no evil or rebellion in my hand, I have not sinned against you. You are lying in the way to take my life. In other words, make sure that you're not the cause of the conflict. Make sure that you're not the cause. Your part is peace. Romans 12:18, If possible-- which is to suggest that it may not always be possible but if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Just because someone raises their voice doesn't mean that you should raise your voice in return. You're in the kingdom of God now, higher principles apply. My hand will not be against you.
You are lying in wait to take my life but my hand will never be against you. I won't do it. If someone is mean to you, you don't have to be mean back to them. My hand will not be against you. I won't do it. 2 Corinthians 6:3-4, "Give no cause for offense, and anything." Don't be the cause. You have no cause for offense in anything so that the ministry will not be discredited but in everything, commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses. When you carry the name of God, commend yourself. Let your actions be the actions that commend you as a servant of God, in endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses.
I was thinking of an illustration I had an opportunity myself. When I was in Bible College, God miraculously provided. I worked as a server to provide for the family. At one point I was a waiter at the restaurant that's at the top of the Hilton. Back in those days, it was called Alexander's, which you say with an accent Alexander's. Very fancy restaurant. The maitre d', his name was Mr. Mouseline. He loved to be called Mr. M. In fact, he insisted upon it. The general manager of the entire hotel was Mr. Dorovencort, Mr. D, as he also liked to be called. Mr. D would come in for dinner quite regularly with his wife. When they would come in, Mr. M would always seat Mr. D. No one was allowed to seat Mr. D except Mr. M. Only Mr. M. One day Mr. D comes in, with his wife, standing there waiting to be seated but Mr. M is nowhere to be found.
He's standing there waiting minutes go by, more minutes. "Where is Mr. M?" "No one knows. He's somewhere in the hotel but no one knows where he is." Finally, I decide someone has to take action. I will do it. I went to Mr. D. "Good evening, Mr. M is detained for a bit. I will be happy to seat you." "Oh, thank you very much." I knew his of table five. He always sat at table five next to the window. I brought him to the table, gave him, he and his wife the menus, chatted a few moments, and said, "Mr. M will join you shortly." Few minutes later, here comes Mr. M. Steam. "Who sat Mr. D?" He did, Rich did .
"Why did you do this?" I said, "Because he was standing there a long time and we could not find you. I knew that you would not want him to wait so long that he would be unhappy so I sat him." "Well, I had plans for that table. You've ruined the entire evening." Then he proceeded to extract his revenge. I was the front. In other words, the main waiter. I had two assistants. He said, "Take one of them." His name is Nico. "Take Nico, and put him over setting silver or somewhere. He will not be your helper. You can do it without him." Well I had the whole restaurant with now one assistant.
Then the people started coming. Oh my, did it get busy. We got full but still, my other assistant could not help. Finally, I'm in the kitchen. I'm doing stuff in the computer and he comes in, "Why can I not help you? This is killing me. Why can I not help you?"
Mr. M is a few steps away. I said, "Nico, there's just a little something going on. This is his decision and he's made it. Let it be. Now, I'm very busy now. Please, go back." He said nothing. The evening went on with one assistant and that evening, I made a lot of money.
Then toward the evening, we had a little VIP room in the back. We had some VIP thing going on. When it finished, the three or four that were there came and the maitre d' said, "Now that you're finished with that, apparently Mr. Jones here needs some help. What if all of you get on the floor? Now you know the rules of course he would share with you all his tips." See. They help for about 15 minutes and then the shift was over and I started giving them all of my tips holding my section.
They said, "No, we can't. This isn't right. We cannot do this." I said, "No. You must do this. This was what was decided. You will do it." "This is not right." I said, "No, listen, I know my God. This is a minor amount to him. He will return it. You could be sure of this, he will return it. You take it. I won't get into the weeds." Here's the thing about the story, Saul heard this speech when David said it so clearly, my hand will not be against you. I won't do it. Saul said, you are more righteous than I. Now I know, now I know you will be king. Now I know the kingdom will be established by your hand because I see it. What character, this is the action of a king. This is the faith of a king, this is the character of a man who trusts in something higher. I see it now. Well, all of the men with Saul saw it, and all of David's men saw it. This is the action of king, this is the action of a man, a woman of character. I say that because may you live your life in such a way that people see, this is the action of a servant of God. This is the action of someone with character.
B. You have a ministry of reconciliation
This is the action of someone with faith. Let your action commend you and God will bless it. God will bless it, it's faith that believes God will bless it. Choose that which is higher, God will bless it. Father thank you so much for showing us that your way is high. Your principles are good and righteous altogether. God, I pray for everyone in this room that we would decide. We want that which is higher. Help us, God, that the actions that we take be the action of a man or woman of character, of faith. May we commend ourselves because people can see, this is the action of a man or a woman of God. Church how many today would say to the Lord. I want to be like that. I want to be like that. I want to have that kind of faith. I want to have that kind of character.
I want to live like that. That's what I want. I need to be transformed. I need to be more like you, transform me now. That's what I'm asking because that's what I want. I want that kind of life, church, how many would say that. Would you just simply raise your hand to the Lord and when you raise your hand, you're asking God, you're saying, I want that. I want to have a character like that. I want to have faith like that, I want my life like that. Change me, I need to be changed, I need to be transformed do this, do this in me God do this I'm asking. You said I could ask and here I am, I'm asking. Father, thank you for everyone who is stirred by the spirit to see that there is a deeper life and greater ways and higher character and deeper faith. God, we want it. Show us how to live by it. We honor you now in Jesus' name and everyone said, can we give the Lord praise and glory and honor?