Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice … —Proverbs 24:17
If you wish to be today’s servant, then you must also resist gloating when you have been vindicated. If Samuel had been small-minded, he would have been glad Saul had failed the test. Samuel was the only one who warned against the kingship. We therefore might expect him to shout to the housetops, “I told you so.” How do we know he didn’t do that? Because God said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel?” (1 Sam. 16:1, emphasis added). There was no gloating, only mourning.
A good evidence that we can be trusted with today’s anointing and today’s stigma is that we mourn when a brother or sister slips or falls. Cain said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). The answer is yes. I fear that the anointing many of us desire is largely delayed because of a rival spirit. We look over our shoulders and, consciously or unconsciously, compete with one another. Virtually no consideration at all is given to seeking the glory that comes only from God. We want mutual adulation more.
Today’s man or woman ought also to be on the lookout for tomorrow’s man. Jonathan Edwards said that the one thing Satan cannot successfully counterfeit is a love for the glory of God. As long as you and I truly love God’s honor, including the reputation of His church today and tomorrow, it is good evidence we haven’t been duped by the devil. But if it is my own reputation I worry most about, there is no proof I am today’s man. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).