Friday, November 15, 2013
2Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
The people of Israel were God's special people, set apart from the rest. God made to them promises that He did not make to others. But as the NKJ Study Bible states with covenant promises there are covenant responsibilities. As said in worship service repeatedly, "there are conditions." The people of Israel assumed that because they were God's special people they were excluded from judgment for their misdeeds or didn't have to pay a price. But God said, "I will punish you for all your iniquities." To walk with God is a covenant relationship. But to stay with God you have to uphold your part. God is always in the same place as He was when you left Him. The key is, "you walked away." You cannot walk together if you walk away. And you cannot walk away from God and think you will not incur difficulty when you were the one who initially agreed to be part of His set apart people, His special people. To walk together you have to be in agreement. It's like teamwork. The people of Israel were collectively off because of their choice to disregard the agreement. So they were not in sync and God had to call them out.
When I was in high school we had a performing dance group called Modern Dance Theatre or MDT. It was a six period class followed by two to three hour rehearsals. Performances were done at half time for basketball and football games, the school talent show and we put on our own full length school concert in the spring. We often had six weeks or less to learn a full dance routine for half time shows. But everyone had to learn it which meant you had to know every step, every slight movement of the arm, neck, shoulder, hip, etc. You had to learn how to step together, turn together, stop together. Everything had to be in complete sync. Any deviation by anyone from the routine could easily throw off the dance. We were even in the same costume. We made an agreement even in auditions that you had to work as a team. In other words, it wasn't just about you. If you did not step right, Mrs. Feinberg had permission to call you out. I learned not only to see my own strengths and weaknesses in a routine but my teammates could see them as well and vice versa. We had to learn how to show one another the right way so the dance routine would be right in front of hundreds of people. To be in a spotlight and set apart, it had to be right. It is the same when you are one of God's people. You are in the spotlight whether for the right reason or not both individually and collectively.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
16No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
The psalmist spoke of the Lord's sovereignty or the Lord's absolute authority to make anything happen whether it is winning a war or deliverance from any situation. No man can do what God does. Samson thought his strength was in his hair. Yes, his hair was to be a reflection of the relationship and call with God but ultimately his strength came from the Lord. No enemy can take anything from those who are redeemed by the Lord unless given permission as shown in the book of Job. No one can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps no matter what the world tells them. Any success, any achievement, any blessing, any healing, any deliverance is from the Lord himself. The Lord can use instruments such as His people but it is He who does it. Anyone who says that the Lord had nothing to do with what they have is foolish indeed. The Word of God says in James 1:16-17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. The apostle James was talking about loving God under trials. We are not to just love God in the good times but to love Him when things are not so good.
Nearly two weeks ago something happened. And every tear I cried, I cried out not because I was upset but because I was thanking God. I was made aware yet again of His saving grace, His mercy and His deliverance from the hand of the enemy. I was made aware once again that it is by His hand that I am here. I am fully reminded that it is because of God that I have anything, even to those who believe it is less than what they have achieved. But as we went over in our Bible study conference call Tuesday night, John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me, you can do nothing." So no matter what you have possessed; knowledge, wisdom, skills or physical possessions, what you have achieved, what journey you are on, what you have been healed, delivered and set free from, know this, that it is only by God's mighty hand that you even stand. So give Him thanks in all things as the Word of God says.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Song of Solomon 1:5