Reading through the Old Testament the last couple of weeks I find myself feeling a little sorry for the leaders of the Israelites; Aaron and Jeroboam especially. Both of them had their own weaknesses, but in both time periods, the people they were leading wanted a convenient and easy worship ambiance put in place for them. The people wanted familiar cultural acts and actions. They wanted actions that would be repeated so they wouldn’t have to think about what they were doing. They wanted things that they could see physically – images that compete with God’s image. In both cases the leaders ensured that they got what they wanted.
Believers today get in that same type of boat: 1) Trying to put idols in the place of our God. Some of our idols are : false rationale, materialism, and consumerism; 2) Wanting pastors to provide a way for us to wallow in some things without feeling guilt. Things like: personal achievement, self, and religion.
Well, just like then, so now!
Leaders in the Body of Christ today do not have an obligation to make worship more convenient for Christ followers. NO! They have an obligation to make worship of our God an unavoidable and inescapable part of our daily experience. Yes, DAILY! Not just on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.
God Deserves Our Worship. That’s the Bottom Line. There is nothing more that He needs to do for us. He deserves our worship now – today! He deserves it And He deserves it no matter how He wants to receive it!
What has He asked you to do to honor Him? What does your worship look like?
After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 1 Kings 12:28
He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Exodus 32:4
On January 17, 2017 – I was involved in a serious car accident with my sweetheart. I was driving and went unconscious while behind the wheel for several minutes. The car was going down the highway at about 70MPH. Lloyd had to maintain his composure while: 1) hoping that his unconscious wife was alive ; 2) having thoughts of what his life (and his children’s lives) might be like if she was not alive; 3) realizing that he would have to save our lives; and 4) realizing that no matter what he did, only God could save us.
The King of Kings was with us that night for sure because Lloyd says the muscle in my right leg relaxed which let the car start to slow down while he grabbed the wheel. We crashed into a traffic sign instead of into oncoming traffic. Eric, an off duty Colorado police officer, was behind us and stopped to help Lloyd to navigate the madness – which was also wonderful because the calls to 911 kept saying “call failed”. God kept Lloyd and I here and I just cannot thank Him enough!
The reactions of our friends/family were varied:”God has something planned for you!”; “It wasn’t time for you to go!”; “God extended His grace to you!”; “God granted His grace to us!”; “God looked out for us!”; “Thank God!”; “Get to the doctor!”; “REST!”; “Don’t ever travel again!”; Or in some cases – just tears or looks that needed no words.
My heart and Lloyd’s heart have been running through a gamut of emotions. We are grateful! We’ve been concerned! We have had some fear that has passed. But the most amazing thing is that we have felt great passion for our callings toward the gospel being spread across the earth. We have felt a burning urgency to carry out some of the things that God has placed in our hearts in recent days. We have found ourselves worshipping everywhere we go because that has been one of the most effective tools against the fear and concern. Gratefulness. Concern. Fear. Passion. Urgency. Worship! Yes – worship has been one of the most effective tools against the negative thoughts or feelings – I can see what Paul and Silas felt at midnight! We lived to see another new mercy. This mercy – we truly can say we’ve never witnessed before! Nothing in us has us wanting to stop doing what God has called us to do. This latest experience has only made us both want to dive deeper into it and get it done with more passion; more excellence; and as soon as we can do it.
What about you? As you live your life for the King of Kings are you acting as if your eternal life will be lived right where you are?! I want to encourage you to live it like every moment just might be your last where you are. None of us know when our last moment is – I’m not saying that you might die; but I am saying that you might be moved!! You just don’t know! If the Lord tells you to share the gospel with someone – Open Your Mouth Today! If the Lord tells you to write a book – Put The Pen To The Page Today! If the Lord tells you to get under someone’s discipleship – Make The Move Today! If the Lord tells you to get a doctorate degree – Start The Program Today! If God makes a way for you to show some hospitality – do it Today! Don’t Procrastinate! Don’t Hesitate! Don’t try to fit God’s plan into your schedule.
If you’ve made the decision to call Him the Lord of your life – just go ahead and trust in Him completely and move your own understanding of things out of the way. Relinquish your own idea about what might be right about how to carry things out over to Him and believe that He really will work it out in the way that is best for you!
As for Lloyd and I, YES – God has asked us to do some pretty radical things in the last couple of years and we’ve done most with very little hesitation; but we’ve piddled around on some that aren’t so comfortable or easy. This latest experience has just told us to go on and Do It! He’s Ordering our Steps. He’s Making the Path Plain. He’s Got Us! In Fact — He Has Got It All!! Nothing that He’s asking of us is too hard for us because all of our strength is in Him and all of our purpose rests in Him and our life is hidden in His Son!
In fact, the only reason we even ARE is Him!
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
God’s people are not exempt from falling into sin. In fact, it is overtly stated throughout scripture that there is none who does not sin. However, as God’s people – His dearly beloved – we can rest assured that when we sincerely repent from our sin; crying out to Him to forgive us and change us and and committing to change and turn from it – He will not only forgive and cleanse us – but He will surely bless us! What must we do? Humble ourselves. Pray. Seek His face. Turn from our sin. This promise was spoken to God’s people Israel, but I believe that as God’s people today this truth still applies. When you sin (and you WILL sin) – submit to God’s authority; cry out to Him for forgiveness; listen for His direction for you; and commit to never go back to doing that thing and I believe that even when we sin grievously and find ourselves in the hand of our enemy – He will turn that thing around! Our sin will surely bring with it unpleasant consequences but it is His good pleasure to bind up our wounds – even those He inflicts upon us. Our pride will bring us to destruction – but if we humble ourselves under His mighty hand – He will exalt us in due time. He knew we would falter – and He has always made a way for us to set things right with Him. Forgiveness and blessing! Who wouldn’t serve a God like that?!
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14
So underserving – yet, He still adores me! I stand amazed at His endless and matchless love for me. Praying always that my life is bringing Him glory, honor and great pleasure. May my life, this day, be a sweet offering of worship to Him. He is the delight of my soul! May my life, this day, be lived toward His purposes. He is my redeemer and my benevolent Sovereign!
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”