Sing: The Heart of Worship by Hillsong
Pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You; help me, I trust You. Father, open my eyes so that I may see You clearly, open my ears so that I may hear You soundly, open my mind so that I may understand You plainly, open my heart so that I may love you more, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly, in Jesus‘ name, Amen.
Read: 1 Chronicles 8:1-11:47
So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse. 1 Chronicles 10:13-14
Saul died for his breach of faith! Woah! That‘s a serious penalty for not obeying God‘s commands… well, I guess it‘s not that different from the original commandment though. Don‘t eat from this tree or you will die. Yeah, kinda the same thing. Anyway, this verse really caught my attention because the one thing that it focuses on, isn‘t all the times Saul tried to kill David, it was that Saul went to a medium instead of seeking God‘s guidance.
Friends, how many times have we gone to our parents, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors, experts, doctors, the media or the government for advice or help instead of going straight to the One who can give us the best advice of all? I don‘t know about you, but I personally am very guilty of this! I can‘t tell you how many times I have come up against a situation that simply was bigger than me and immediately decided that I needed the advice of this person or thought that I should ask that person for help… when all the time there‘s God just waiting with the solution to my problem just waiting for me to ask Him! Sometimes I really wonder about myself. In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul tells us that we should not be anxious for anything, but in everything through prayer and petition we should present our requests to God, and the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
It is through prayer that we seek Him and His kingdom, and it is when we seek Him first instead of leaning on our own understanding (or the knowledge of others) that He makes the way that we should go clear. When we seek Him and His opinion He will let us know which way is the right way. It most likely won‘t be in an audible voice booming from the heavens with a beam of light shining down pointing you in the right direction, but it could be! I have had a moment where I was seeking His marital advice and I kid you not, the next day I walked into the church library to look for my daughter and there was a book on the table (Ed Young‘s “Ten Commandments of Marriage“) all alone illuminated by a shaft of light from the single dingy window in the room! BINGO! So don‘t be too surprised if that is how He answers you too!
Prayer is a powerful thing. It never ceases to amaze me how different it makes you feel, how…glowing… yeah, glowing it can make you. Through prayer we are allowed to reach out and touch God‘s heart and in return He reaches out and touches ours… when we let Him. His light remains within us when we seek, not just His will, but seek HIM. There‘s so much more to the Christian life than merely going to church and singing songs, saying all the ritual prayers and ceremonies, my friend, that‘s a religion. And that‘s not what Jesus died for. Jesus died to set you free from religion! Jesus died so that you wouldn‘t have to go through ceremonial cleansings and rituals just so you could come visit Him and talk to Him once a year! He died so that you could enter into His presence JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, dirty, clean, guilty, not guilty, it doesn‘t matter anymore. You see, before Jesus died there was this place called the Holy of Holies where it was said that God‘s presence “lived“ there. Now, God is everywhere, always has been, always will be, but there was a greater concentration of His Spirit in that room where the Ark of the Covenant sat. This room was sacred and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE was allowed into that room. Only once a year was the high priest allowed to go into the room and that was after a half-a-day‘s worth of ritual cleansings and sacrifices and anointing, you name it he had to do it to go into the room. Then after he was prepared to go in, he had to take a censer full of smoking incense in with him to cloud his vision so that he wouldn‘t die from the sight. While in there he would sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice onto the ark of the covenant as an atoning sacrifice for the entire Hebrew nation. That day, called the day of Atonement, was a big deal for the Jewish people, it still is. But that whole day was a symbol, a foreshadowing of what Christ did for us on the cross. The animal‘s blood that the priest sprinkled onto the Ark of the Covenant wasn‘t long-lasting enough, it only had a shelf life of 365 days. After that it went bad and had to be replaced. But Jesus‘ blood, well that‘s a different story! Jesus is our high priest and He placed Himself on that cross as a willing sacrifice on our behalf. Then the blood that He shed all over the streets of Jerusalem that day, including the foot of the cross, got taken to heaven and He Himself sprinkled it on the actual Ark of the (now new) Covenant that resides in the throne room of God. And it is because He was willing to do all of this for us, that on the day of His death on the cross the earthquake shook the temple so violently that it tore the curtain separating that room from the rest of the world into two clean pieces! There is no longer a need for that curtain of separation any more! The atoning blood of Jesus‘ sacrifice was, is and will be enough for all the wrong you and I ever have, are or will be doing in our lives. His grace is sufficient for us.
There is absolutely positively nothing that you can do that God hasn‘t already forgiven you for. Did you know that? Seriously, nothing. He has seen every heinous sin every committed on the face of this planet, there is nothing new under the sun that you can do that He has not seen before and forgiven completely through Jesus‘ sacrifice. Nothing. Period. Personally, it is my belief that the greatest sin that we could ever commit against God, is to not believe Him. To not believe that He is who His word tells us that He is. Or to not believe that He can do what He says He can do, we can‘t ever forget that HE IS GOD. If we believe that He is the one who created the world, is it really that much of a stretch to believe that He can make a virgin pregnant, or a fish swallow a man, or bring His Son back to life, or… do those things for… YOU? Mary was just a girl, Jonah was just a man, yet God performed HUGE miracles with them, through them and for them, why? Because HE wanted to! If God wants to perform a miracle in your life, do you want Him to? I don‘t know about you but I DO! And why not???? Why not me? Why not you? Why not? He‘s God! He can do what ever He very well pleases, He can choose whomever He wants… what if He wants you. What if He wants to use you to do something really awesome in His name? What if God wants you to make a difference in this world? And what if He wants you to do all that by simply being you and open to His suggestions? What if He wants to do all that by having a relationship with you through reading His word daily and communicating with Him throughout the day in whatever way you‘re most comfortable with. You know, He‘s God, He can do that! J