God is no different than any of us. Well, that’s not entirely true. We love and care for others but God’s love and care for every detail of our individual lives is more than we can even imagine.
And most important in the here and now is that He wants a relationship with His children and He wants all of us to know He loves us. In fact He wants to encourage us to believe that there is more to our lives than merely the struggle on earth. God wants us to know that He wants the best for us. And it is thru obedience and our willingness for it, that opens the door for greater things.
Think of it this way. If you want to go into a room where you have been told has treasures, you have to go into the room the same way as anyone else. You have walk thru that door. You can’t go in another way unless you try to break down the walls but even then if you get in you won’t fully grasp the joy and beauty of what is in the room. The experience of the gifts from God can only be appreciated when your mind and heart have thankfulness. This comes from the journey not the destination, as that saying goes. And obedience is the door that opens up to so much more.
I once heard a little story and it went like this. A son asked for a new watch that he saw in a window of a store. His father wanted to get it for him. But to the disappointment of the son, the father found an older, working watch he had and gave it to the son. The son was saddened but he accepted it. He took good care of it and it became a great help to him. Then one day the watch stopped. He didn’t tell his dad but his dad knew. The son thought of all the days that the watch made his life easier. His birthday came and went and he still missed that watch. He’d walk by the store window and saw that the watch he loved was gone. A little saddened the son chose to remember and appreciate that watch his dad had given him. Oh how he wished he still had it. A few weeks later, after he had finished his early morning paper route, he had a little time left to finish his homework paper before school and went up to his room, sat at his desk and worked on it. The time went fast and as he got up to leave and go to school he knocked something off his desk. Not seeing it earlier, it was a surprise. He opened a little box and to his joyful surprise his father had bought him the watch in the window. He ran out of the room but quickly ran right into his dad, who was hoping he found the watch. The dad told him, you proved to me you would take care of the watch I gave you. Thank you son.
Thru this experience the son learned the value of taking care of things and the father learned the joy of giving from his heart, the things his son needed. It’s a joint effort and a celebration of joy between the giver and the receiver. That’s something we often forget in life’s journey.
God doesn’t just want to give you everything without you being willing to come up higher. Why? Because ultimately God wants you to use everything that He created within you, that’s a part of you, so that you can fill the place of Honor and Royalty that is reserved specifically for you!
This isn’t about blind adherence to a demanding God. This is about filling the shoes of royalty that you are created for. But you must first learn about Him and how He has walked among us since creation. Yes, He never left us and He always waited for us to come to Him so He could begin a relationship with us. You must understand His loving heart in order to know Him and in order to really appreciate Him. He is AMAZING!!
I ask you, If God could show you, right now, that He created you to do amazing things in eternity, would you be interested?
If you could see the plans of God for your personal life, would you want to?
Do you think that God created you, put you on this planet only to mess you up more? Absolutely not!
God’s plan to create Earth and all that is here, is for a reason. And it’s not because God is selfish and demands obedience. In fact it’s quite the opposite.
After I finished reading the Bible from cover to cover the very first time, I was able to remove a stigma that I had developed over years of legalistic religion. But I can’t blame my choice of religion on all my warped views. My confusion about God, about religion, and about life came from my interpretation of life and the experiences I encountered. When some of the stigma dropped off, I started to see God for the first time. WOW! He is so incredible!
In my studies this story pops back into my memory. Let me share.
(Asa is warned)
King Asa was promised,
2 Chronicles 15:1-2,
"Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Obed, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him, as your first necessity], He will let you find Him; but if you abandon (turn away from) Him, He will abandon (turn away from) you."That's seems fair.
It is our choice to turn to God.
The best way to determine if God is first in your life is to slow down and ask yourself, “What do I think about the most?” When having problems, which we all do, do you run to people for advice and direction? Or do you take it to God?
If we want something in this life, don't we make time for it, no matter how busy our schedule is?
If you want to get to know God and what He feels, and loves, and desires, you will make Him a priority.
Seek to know Him.
Make necessary changes, like daily time to read His Word.
Ask for God's help and give Him the opportunity to step into your life and show you. But this requires you to have a need and make a choice to give God your life.
In I Thessalonians 5:23-24,
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged--consecrated to Him--set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation] and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, and guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own]."
It is God who gives you the ability to adjust your lifestyle and bring it in line with His Word. And it’s for a purpose. You are no accident and your life is not just wandering aimlessly.
In 2 Chronicles 15:3-7 we see a pattern. The past, for Israel, didn’t have to go on. God was giving them a new opportunity to change. But God shares with us a background of their behavior. And God is also warning us, the future generations who read His Word, will know that this kind of worship will not lead to a longer relationship with Him.
“Now for a long time Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest, and without [God’s] law. But when they were in trouble and distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and [in desperation earnestly] sought Him, and He let them find Him. In those times there was not peace for him who went out or for him who came in, for great suffering came on all the inhabitants of the lands. Nation was crushed by nation, and city-by-city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. But as for you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”
When Asa heard these words of the prophecy of Azariah the son of Obed the prophet, it says in vs. 8:
“…he took courage and removed the repulsive idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. Then he restored the altar [of burnt offering] of the Lord which was in front of the porch [of the temple] of the Lord.”
And vs. 9:
“He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and the strangers who were with them out of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to Asa from Israel in large numbers when they saw that the Lord was with him.”
“They sacrificed to the Lord on that day from the spoil they brought – 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. They entered into a covenant (solemn agreement) to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul.”
But it goes on to say in vs. 16-19 that they only got rid of some of the idols. Here is a picture where God didn’t demand perfection but still blessed them.
“He also removed Maacah, King Asa’s mother, from the position of queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the [goddess] Asherah. Asa cut down her idol, crushed it, and burned it at the Brook Kidron. But the high places [of pagan worship] were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was blameless all his days. He brought the things that his father [Abijah] had dedicated and those things that he had dedicated into the house of God—silver and gold and utensils. And there was no war until the 35th year of Asa’s reign.”
Over and over I have seen where God still blessed those that actually didn’t do everything they should have. God knew there heart and their struggles but He blessed them. Why? As a mother, I have many times encouraged my children as they had little accomplishments along the way. They were learning but I wanted them to know what victory and right choices felt like. I think that God was encouraging them and so many others to keep believing and to continue on the right path.
God has been given a bad rap. He is far more merciful and His reason is to encourage us to want to do things right. Why? Because God really does have so much to give us.
Asa started his reign with a determination to serve the Lord and to abolish idol worship. Obed the prophet spurred him on to finish the job, to get rid of idols in his land and the land just captured. Paul talks about fighting the good fight, finishing the course, keeping the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). We all need people like Obed in our lives, who encourage us to keep on being faithful. In the same manner, we need to encourage others to persevere to the end.
Commit yourself to know God and so much will change in your life. It has for me.