The possession of an ambitious spirit is a good thing. It can guide us toward success, ease mental anguish, and inspire others to achieve their goals. However, ambition can bring about negative consequences when we rely on others who appear to have our best interest in mind. What I’m referring to is our need to feel accepted and loved. We’re a very sensory driven people.
We want to feel good, look good, have the best, and be perceived as having it all together at all times. Instead of following the leading of the Lord which oftentimes will be an innate knowing in our mind and spirit, it’s easy to get sidetracked by what we see physically or perceive in a person we want to accept us.
I’ve experienced this type of situation several times in my life and my naivete led me to believe that the people who were giving me advice actually wanted me to succeed. Unfortunately, their advice affected me financially and legally. Although I had a deep feeling that something was wrong, I ignored the feeling because of their status and age.
It wasn’t until I was left hanging by myself to deal with the aftermath that I realized their motives and their desire to see me fail miserably and to capitalize off my misfortune. Additionally, the shock of their intentions left me in state of bewilderment for a long time because of their righteous persona and doctrine they often condemn others with. The apathy they exhibited after guiding me down a detrimental path of financial, legal, and relational destruction was also distributing.
I often think to myself, what did I do to you for you to desire my failure in these areas especially when I’ve supported you financially and socially in your endeavors? It was if my previous contribution didn’t matter as long as these counselors achieved their goal of financial gain and the diverting of my success other areas of my life.
Although many years have passed, I’m still trying to recover from those distant blows of malicious acts despite their pretentious friendliness toward me. Then the revelation of gender bias dawned on me, and I begin to understand that regardless of how hard you work to support someone’s vision, if you don’t truly know how they feel about you, your contributions are basically in vain.
Ask God, Listen to God, and Follow Him No Matter What You See
One thing I’ve learned is you cannot take advice from everyone regardless of who they are. They can hold a high political or religious position. However, if you don’t know how people truly live outside of their public platform, you must be careful not to get caught up in the hype. I find it quite disturbing when people of high status gain the admiration of people and lure them into making decisions they would not normally make to capitalize off of them, and forget about them when people continue to struggle from their tricks. That’s why it’s important not to believe that everything a person possesses has been acquired legitimately whether it pertains to tangible assets or relationships.
I have no respect for people who do this and pretend that they are people that should be esteemed. I’ve also watched others who were influenced by the same people I was counseled by struggle for many years. The worse part is when the same counselors ignore your plight and inform others about your situation in a disdainful way without exposing how they negatively influenced your trouble. I also wonder how could those of high positions use others treacherously, sleep restfully, and then resume their exhortation roles as if they’re actually living what they’re teaching.
Deception Clothed in The Appearance of Righteousness
There was a prophet written about in the Bible who received instructions from God not to eat bread or drink water after he had given the word of the Lord to Bethel. Although the king had asked the prophet to dine at his home after his hand was restored, the prophet remained committed to the instructions God had given. However, he got sidetracked when an old prophet who heard about his work made a special journey to find him and invited him to his home for a meal. The prophet told the older prophet that he was not supposed to eat or drink anything.
Despite becoming aware of the instructions given to the younger prophet, the older prophet told him that an angel spoke to him, and told him to … “Bring him back with thee unto thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied to him (I Kings 13:18).
Convinced that the man speaking to him was a true prophet, the younger prophet accepted his invitation and went home with the old prophet. However, what awaited him was his own demise. After sitting at the table, the same man told the young prophet that he was going to die because of his disobedience to the Lord. “And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase (I Kings 13:23-24).
Now whether this demonstration was used by the Lord through the same prophet to reiterate God’s demand for obedience, or if the old prophet was a false prophet, there is a strong message in this example. God knows the motives and intention of people who appear to be righteous, but they are impersonators. I’m sure you’ve had a situation occur in your life that caused you emotional, mental, financial, or physical pain because you ignored the red flags that were waving in your spirit. II Corinthians 11:14 says … And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Although you have not been eaten by a lion, I’m sure the consequences of ignoring your gut instinct about someone felt as if you were particularly with the recovery process of trying to get your life back on track. I want to encourage you to …”Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (I Peter 5:8).
Don’t Ignore Subtle Signs
Conduct an analysis of a person to try to get a good sense of why he or she wants you to do something. Ask yourself, if I do this, will he or she be there for me when I need assistance, or will they discard me after they have gained what they wanted? I encourage you to read the entire chapter of I Kings 13 to gain a better understanding of what happened to the young prophet, and how the old prophet made a concerted effort to find him despite his age and physical condition.
I wonder if he was jealous because the young prophet prayed for a miracle and it happened, or if the fame of the young prophet made him feel insecure about his ability to succeed in his ministry. This is a very intriguing story, but it also provides a guide for us to use when people approach us during the most vulnerable times in our lives especially when we’re tired or wounded. My primary point to this message is do not let your desire to be accepted by someone who appears to represent what is right distort what God is revealing to you about a person’s character no matter how distinguished they are dressed.
Stay alert and blessed!