Going To The King

By Johnny Tatum


A Model:


Joshua and the Israelites came in to conquer the Land, and God told them to kill everything — all that breathed of the Canaanites.

Only in the cities of these people that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has commanded you. (Deuteronomy 20: 16, 17)

All the spoil of these cities and the cattle, the sons of Israel took as their plunder; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them. They left no one who breathed. Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:14)

However, before Joshua and the Israelites went into the Land, Moses had told the Israelites — God will not drive them all out.

"I will send hornets ahead of you that they may drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you." (Exodus 23:28-31)

Moses did not predict You will not drive them all out; he did predict God will not drive them all out; He will leave some of them there to test you.

Picture: Canaanites represent the flesh, and living in Canaan represents Holy Spirit.

Application: Remember—

Testing Is An Opportunity

If the acts of the flesh are still there [even after we have disavowed the flesh], then it is an opportunity for us to draw close to Holy Spirit — return that love — and to watch the flesh wither gradually.

Look at what He said and look at the pictures. If we have rejected our flesh and decided to follow Holy Spirit because that is what we want, then our part is over and it is Holy Spirit's decision that some acts of the flesh stay for His sovereign purposes.

I am not talking about blatant sin (flesh that flares up); for example, sin against other people. [We confess that and Holy Spirit kills it.] I am talking about our self-life, our decisions. Do we make our decisions by our flesh or do we make decisions according to Holy Spirit?

Sometimes we say I do not want to make any decisions according to my flesh, but I do want Holy Spirit to make all of my decisions; and then we make a decision that sure seems stupid. We wonder What happened? I said that I reject my flesh and I want to be lead by Holy Spirit, but then I made what certainly seems to be a foolish decision — and I did not want to go that route. The answer is:

Holy Spirit made that decision — His sovereignty continues it on — so anything that looks foolish in it is His problem.




Story: They have a banquet, and Haman is still alive. Was it anybody's fault that Haman did not die right then? No. Everything was going according to plan and everybody was doing what they were supposed to do, beginning with the king saying Up to half.

Picture: You do everything correct, the flesh does not die right then, and nobody can be faulted. It serves God's purposes better for that flesh to continue on for a while, so something bigger can be accomplished.

A Model: Moses told Joshua You will not drive them all out.

Application: Once we have made that decision, any flesh acts that remain is in God's providence — even if it appears to be a stupid decision. We say My heart was right when I made this decision, so it must not be stupid because I told the Lord God, "I do not want to follow my flesh, and I want Your input on this." I believe Holy Spirit made this decision and He will work it out.

It could be:

  1. A bad decision, which Holy Spirit has better timing to get it back right.
  2. A good decision, which does not look correct to us at the time.

Story: From this point on, the king is not really deciding things; once he set up the half a kingdom, he just rolled with the flow.

Application: We think I do not want the SELF-life because I keep making a mess of things; I want Holy Spirit's input. Then we ask for it, but things do not seem any different. That is when we have to say I did what Holy Spirit said, so whatever is happening is His doing. For some reason I do not understand, Holy Spirit has chosen to leave some of the Canaanites (flesh) in my life. It is not my problem.

Specifically, if there is delay in victories over the flesh once we have done our part — given Him up to half — then any delay in our seeing that happen is Holy Spirit's delay. Though it may not appear that way to us, some One is working on our behalf—

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

God has this amazing ability to use flesh and sin for good to those in Messiah Jesus, so the delay is His doing. When we still keep seeing that flesh (Presumption: we made our decision of our will) it is:

-Either- God is sovereignly delaying the victory. [I do not know why — He might have a bigger victory down the road.]

Example: Haman has been given more rope with which to hang himself.

-Or- There is not more flesh; we are just more sensitive to the acts of our flesh the same way some individuals are more sensitive to sin.

As new biblical believers, how much flesh do we see in our lives? We do not see much because we are not sensitive to the flesh. As we mature in the spirit, how much flesh do we see in our lives? We, probably, see a lot, even though flesh acts in our lives have not gotten more; they have gotten less. Because our awareness is increased, we are more sensitive to what is going on in our lives than we were before. We are seeing a whole lot of flesh because we are more sensitive to it and Holy Spirit is revealing more to us; therefore, we hate it more.


Depression Hits Again:


In the midst of this flesh killing — I am going to keep seeing more flesh because I am more sensitive to it — we can become very depressed. So how do we get out of that mode, which can be depressing?

Let us look at a passage in 1 Thessalonians 5—

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24)

If we are confessing, making the right choices of our will, and thinking I am seeing more flesh, then we just say That is okay. The reason I am seeing more flesh is that I am just more sensitive to it, because Holy Spirit is killing it off. I am going to believe what Holy Spirit says and know that the results are His.



1 During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.

2 It was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs who were doorkeepers, that they had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

The king cannot sleep so he calls for the records of his kingdom (chronicles) to be read. While they are being read to him, he hears a story, which he had forgotten about — there was a plot against his life that Mordecai had discovered.

3 The king said, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" Then the king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for him."

At which point, the king hears a noise…

4 So the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace in order to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows which he had prepared for him.

5 The king's servants said to him, "Behold, Haman is standing in the court." And the king said, "Let him come in."

Of course, it is Haman in the outer court.

Picture: The flesh is always at our service.

6 So Haman came in and the king said to him,

[In an ironic passage…]

"What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?" And Haman said to himself, "Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?"

7 Then Haman said to the king, "For the man whom the king desires to honor,

Haman answers Oh, I know just the thing…

8 let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed;

Haman does not say a nice robe; he says Your robe. Haman does not say a good horse; he says Your horse. And, of course, Haman says Let him wear Your crown.

Picture: The flesh desires it all — our robe, our horse, and of course, our crown.

9 and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, 'Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.'"

Have him lead through the city with someone proclaiming This is the man the king wants to honor.

Picture: The flesh wants to be noticed.

10 Then the king said to Haman, "Take quickly the robes and the horse as you have said, and do so for Mordecai the Jew, who is sitting at the king's gate; do not fall short in anything of all that you have said."

The king tells Haman That is a great idea! Everything you just said, you go do it all for Mordecai. The king is making correct decisions now, and it all started when he setup the half a kingdom. Again, Haman is still alive, so do we conclude that the king did anything wrong? No, he did not. The reason Haman is still alive is that is God's providence.

Picture: Even when we confess it (we are doing the right thing if we have made that decision), our flesh lingers on, which is in God's providence.

11 So Haman took the robe and the horse and arrayed Mordecai, and led him through the city square, and proclaimed before him, "Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor."

Haman actually leads Mordecai through the streets saying This is the man the king desires to honor. You know that Haman is enraged, so why does he do it? Because the king told him to.

Picture: Our flesh does what our will says.

Application: Our flesh was condemned and rendered powerless at the Cross; therefore, our flesh is powerless against our will.

Picture: The flesh will do anything to survive, even if it means looking religious. But he hates it.

12 Then Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hurried home,

They go in two different directions — Mordecai goes to the king's gate; Haman runs home.

Picture: Holy Spirit goes where He is comfortable with our spirit; our flesh sinks back.

mourning, with his head covered.

Picture: The flesh had his parade rained on, so he sinks back — he becomes depressed.

There is an amazing prediction in the next verse…

13 Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish origin, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him."

Mordecai is a Jew and Haman's plot is to eliminate the Jews — specifically, Mordecai because he would not bow to Haman. Haman's wife tells him If you have to kill the Jewish race after you have just led the leader of that race through the city in a parade — with the king's robe, horse, and crown — then you have had it. When did all of this begin? When the king said Up to half the kingdom.

Picture: Now the flesh is depressed because he has been exposed.

Application: A very common cause of depression is when our flesh knows that we are wise to him. The more we expose about our flesh, the more worried he gets.

The flesh knows we will recognize him behind our sin, but that does not bother him — we say That is my flesh and he says Yes. However, when we expose—

In all of these situations, I believe the depression of the flesh becomes ours because we are still tied to the flesh, who does not like being exposed.

This can be a reminder to continually give up whatever we can — it can be just a minor turning. This does not follow mathematically, nor does it follow the laws of mechanics, but we can be 180 degrees toward the flesh, and then with just a minor shift the other direction, we are turned to Holy Spirit. [And just like the king kept doing—] Once we have done that, our part is over so anything that happens beyond that is within the Lord God's providence.


Heavenly Father, thank You for this opportunity to study about Your Holy Spirit who gives life versus the flesh who profits nothing. We understand that in our lives, knowing what is going on is the very best thing we can do because it is then that we can respond by exposing the flesh and living by Holy Spirit for advice, guidance and counsel.

Thank You for calling me Your child because I believe the Son of God — the incarnate Person of Messiah Jesus — is my Redeemer (Savior). I confess I am a sinner and I deserve to go to hell because of my sins. But I believe that when Messiah Jesus died on the Cross over 2,000 years ago, He was paying the penalty for my sin. And when Messiah Jesus arose from the dead again, He rose to give me eternal life. I praise You for this good news!

Heavenly Father, as Holy Spirit bears witness to my spirit telling me that I am Your regenerated child, help me to acknowledge that great love by willingly returning it to You. To do otherwise quenches Holy Spirit, and that strikes at His emotions because Holy Spirit is affected by requited love. Help me to not quench the Spirit and to not despise His prophetic utterances.

Thank You that You look at me and see the new person, the person I really am. That is freeing to me, because I know that I let too many of my decisions be directed by my flesh, our mutual enemy. Thank You for helping me to live by my new nature through the guidance of Holy Spirit, even when I only offer you up to half — just a slight turn toward You. What a great victory You have in my life when Holy Spirit reigns and my flesh slinks back.

Heavenly Father, I recognize that none of this is possible apart from Your Son, Messiah Jesus, who sees me as the new man, who is perfect. It is in His name that I pray these things. Amen.

Next: Esther 7-10, DISOWNING THE ENEMY

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