Is God directing? Or are you just uncomfortable?

Throughout our lives we will feel uncomfortable with the way things are. Seeing how something needs doing and nobody’s doing it can really wreak havoc in our minds. Tension can grow and we can find ourselves with the urge to act in a way that God is not leading us.

Such was the situation with King Saul in 1 Samuel 13. At this time the Israelites were in the middle of a military conflict with the Philistines. The people were scared and the prophet Samuel had not come to make an offering to God yet. The people literally scattered and were hiding.

The Bible tells us that they were hiding “in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.” Literally anywhere they could hide, they were hiding.

Imagine King Saul. He’s King! He’s responsible for these people. He wants to lead them to victory to protect their homes, but Samuel needs to offer a sacrifice to God and ask God for direction.

Samuel isn’t there.

In verse 8 we find that Samuel said he would be there in 7 days, but he hadn’t come. In the end, Saul made the offering, and Samuel arrived as soon as he was done.

Saul didn’t wait for God’s timing or God’s direction. As a result he lost many opportunities to serve God and he found himself in disobedience.

Saul tried to do a good thing for a good reason, but he failed to trust God- the most important part. If Saul had walked in faith, he would have not been so anxious to make a sacrifice without the man of God.

I challenge you, if you find yourself uncomfortable because of a situation in your life, pray for God’s direction. God wants us to walk in faith. God wants us to trust Him! If we are reacting in fear, we are in sin. It doesn’t matter how “good” the thing is. It doesn’t matter how “good” our intentions are. What matters is our complete trust and total surrender to His will!

“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

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Who reads Leviticus?

When was the last time you were reading through Leviticus and you got passionate about God? Or Deuteronomy? Do you spend all your time thinking about the burnt offerings or the sacrifices that Israel had to make? Maybe you do, but if you are like most Christians I know, you’re probably thinking, Are you kidding me? Those are the boring books. Who does their devotions in Leviticus?

Honestly, that’s been my attitude for the majority of my life. And I’m ashamed of how I’ve despised the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that, all scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness; that every part of the Bible is useful for the maturing of the man of God. But, most of us would have to admit that our actions and attitudes toward some parts of the Bible declare our scorn for God’s Word.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He pursued God. He loved God. He wanted to serve Him. In the Psalms, David wrote, O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalm 119:97

You might object that he liked it because He was under the law and we aren’t. But realize, David understood that the law was only a shadow. In Psalm 51 he wrote, For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. David knew that the law was not an end in of itself. He understood that the heart of God was more than regulations, yet he loved God’s regulations just the same.

One more thought, if we think that some parts of the Bible are boring, do we meditate on the parts of the Bible we think are more interesting? I know I don’t. I fail every day.

Do you spend time meditating on the Word of God? Do you love the Word of God? Do you spend time in the Old Testament? God tells us that the people in the Old Testament were recorded so that we could learn from them. I challenge you, as I challenge myself, take the time to meditate on Scripture today. Maybe even flip back to the Pentatuch or one of those weirdly named prophets. Take a chance, read through an Old Testament book. Ask God to teach you something through His Word. Ask God to help you love His Word more.

Try it and you won’t regret it, I have no doubt.

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:65

Break the snakes

There are many good things in life that God gives us. He gives us certain things for certain times in our lives. Sometimes, the things that God has given us, loose their effectiveness. They were great for a time, but now God wants us to continue on. One example of something that lost its effectiveness was the brazen serpent in the Old testament.

You see, at one time, the Israelites were very disobedient and ungrateful to God. God allowed judgment to come upon them in the form of deadly snakes. When the people repented, God told Moses to make a brass snake. Anyone who looked at it, would be healed as a result of their obedience. (Numbers 21)

Years later, the Israelites still had the brass snake. You might think, Oh, thats nice, they have a piece of their history. But that was not all. They had started to worship the snake. They were burning incense to it, and treating it like a deity. God was not pleased, and when Hezekiah destroyed it because of their worship, God was pleased. (2 Kings 18:4)

Hezekiah looked at it and called it, Nehushtan or a thing of brass. Hezekiah had a proper view of the brass snake. He called it a thing. An item. It had no importance. God had used it in the past, but it was God that was special, not the thing He used.

Perhaps there are some brass serpents in your life. Think for a moment, what has God used greatly in your life? What has he used to help you grow the most? Perhaps it was a book you read, or a speaker you heard? I know in my life, I have often elevated people or tools that have helped me in my walk with God. Some of my attitude was a healthy respect, but there were times when it was in a sense an actual worship.

I would like to challenge you, if you find yourself in need of anything, realize that it is God that you need. When God works through your pastor, dont allow yourself to worship him. Look beyond the creation, and see the Creator who is the true provider. Dont ever ascribe worship or anything like it to Gods creation. God alone is worthy of our worship.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2

Stepping out lately?

We will always have friends at college or the workplace, or at some other place. Many times we have friends of convenience. Its nice when theyre around, but its no great loss when theyre gone. Successful friendships dont happen by accident.

Marriages do not endure without commitment. Parent-child relationships dont continue after the child is an adult unless an effort is made on both sides. Relationships take work. A good friend of mine likes to sing a song that says, Ill start walkin your way, and you start walkin mine. In truth, thats friendship. Effort that is made on both sides.

So, what about your relationship with God?

Are walkin His way? Or are you walking away? James 4:8 says, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. As Christians, do we really think about what God did for us. Do we realize? Think about this, God died for you before you were ever born.

He definitely put the effort in. What else is greater than to die for a friend?

Now its your turn.

Will you make the effort? Will you decide to grow closer to God? Hes waiting for you. Hes calling out to you. Hes watching you. Waiting for you to make the slightest move towards Him.

Wont you make an effort to cleanse your life of sin and have an intimate fulfilling relationship with your Creator? The God of the universe loves you. Hes waiting to have a closer relationship with you. How long will you make Him wait?

Sacrafice: a change of mind

If we even briefly skim through the Old testament, we will find that the Israelites as well as several other peoples were commanded to give sacrifices. God wanted them to give up things in order to symbolize how a price must be paid for sin. God wants us to give Him a sacrifice of ourselves, not to symbolize the payment for sin, but because service to Him is the only acceptable activity for His creation.

Romans 12:1 says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Paul says in this verse that we are to present our bodies, our very beings as a sacrifice. If you know anything about sacrifices, you know that they died. But God has called us to be living sacrifices. All of our life, for the rest of our life, should be poured out for His service.

We should live holy and acceptable lives for the sake of serving God. How can we live our lives for Christ? One of my Bible teachers always used to say, The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar. Verse two of Romans 12 tells us to, Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

I would like to challenge you, ask God to change your mind. Ask Him to work in you and transform you from the inside out. God is the only one who can work such a miracle in you life or in mine. Let us look to Christ because He is our example. Let us strive to live as He did. Let us live our life as a holy and acceptable sacrifice for God. After all, it is our reasonable service.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:5-8

(I would like to thank all my readers for visiting my blog and liking and commenting on my posts. You have been a great encouragement to me and my walk with our Savior. Thank you so much. You can contact me directly @ gracethroughfaithblog@gmail.com)

What God wants

Isn’t it great that God isn’t a God of status? He isn’t impressed with money, good looks, popularity or power. God is interested in our hearts. As He spoke to Samuel in Samuel 16:7, “Look not on His countenance or on the height of His stature, because I have refused Him, for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Our money, good looks, status, and positions of authority don’t impress God. He wants our hearts right with Him. As David wrote in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart O God thou wilt not despise.” God doesn’t want all the stuff that man values. He wants us.

He wants us to come to Him, broken and repentant. He wants us to weep over our sin and ask Him to transform us. So I would like to encourage you. God doesn’t care how much money you have, where you are on the corporate ladder, or whether or not you were the prom king or queen. He cares about how much you are willing to follow Him. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks you have to offer, you can offer God your heart, and that is everything to Him.