Thursday, September 20, 2007

Do you know the "rules"?

Wow! It it Thursday already? Where did the week go? Just one more reminder that our time flies by but each moment is precious. God has been busy teaching and revealing to me all kinds of things this week. Some things, I'm not sure I'm ready to hear yet. But, I know He is faithful to walk me through whatever He has planned.

One thing that has been on my heart this week, is are there ways I am being displeasing to God and I don't even know it? It's amazing how when God lays something on your heart and the Holy Spirit starts to teach it and explain it to you how everything fits together. Yesterday I was convicted of (you are never going to believe this) speeding. NO - I didn't get a ticket by a police officer but I did from the Holy Spirit.

We were running late to get somewhere (imagine that) and I was going about 80mph on Hwy 316. Mary Lyndsey asked if we were going to be late and told me to go faster. At that moment, I realized how fast I was going and passed a speed limit sign at the same time. Remember my earlier post regarding if God gives us signs? He provided that "sign" at just the right moment. I knew that not only was I breaking the law and possibly placing us in danger by going so fast, but that I was sinning because God expects us to follow the laws of the land. And I was setting a bad example for my children. Is it ok to obey some laws and not others just because we don't agree with them or feel like it? Is it ok to obey some commandments and not others because we don't agree or feel like it; or we can justify why we shouldn't? (obviously not) Am I teaching my children to do the same thing? Anway, if I were doing a better job prioritizing and managing my time, I wouldn't be late and speeding anyway. Things I am struggling with.

This may seem like a small thing, but sin has no size. It's all sin. A little white lie is the same as some other sin such as stealing or murder. It is all displeasing to God. And, we don't get off the hook just because we claim to not know that it is a sin. This is really what I'm dealing with. When I had my spirit check yesterday, for some reason the story about David bringing the ark of the Lord back to the City of David came into my mind.

In this story found in 1 Chronicles 13 David inquires of his commanders and the people if it seems good and seems to be the will of God for them to bring back the ark. They agree and go to bring it back to the city. On the way, they are moving the ark on a cart and are celebrating. (If you remember in Exodus 25 that is not the way the ark is supposed to be moved). During the celebration, the oxen pulling the cart stumble and the ark begins to fall and Uzzah reaches out and touches the ark to steady it. I assume because he doesn't want it to fall. After all, this is the Ark of the Lord. But, the Lord struck him dead because he touched the ark.

Now, I'm sure that Uzzah thought he was doing a good thing. But he wasn't. The problem was he didn't know it wasn't a good thing because he didn't know God's law or rule about it. So, are there sins in my life that I am not even aware of? Who's fault is it that I don't know the rule? These were my thoughts yesterday.

Then, once again in true God fashion, he provided the following devotion for me today. It comes from Prime Time with God a daily email devotional.

When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark.... - 1 Chronicles 13:9-10

There are good things we can do, but only God-things we should do. Those activities not born out of the Spirit will result in wood, hay, and stubble. What seems good in our eyes may be an abomination in God's eyes. For instance, if you decide to build an orphanage but God has never directed you to do so, then God will not see that work as good; it was born out of your own strength, even though it was a "good work."The most difficult challenge a Christian workplace believer will ever have is to know what things to be involved in and what things not to be involved in. Many workplace believers have a great ability to see opportunity. What appears to be a "slam dunk" may come back to haunt us if God never ordains us to enter that arena.There are many good things we can be involved with. However, there are God-things we are supposed to be involved with. Uzzah was a good man in David's sight. It was a time of celebration, and David and the people were transporting the ark of God. However, the ark hit a bump, and Uzzah reached for the ark to hold it steady. He touched the ark, and he immediately died. David became very upset with God about this situation; he questioned whether he could serve God. God's ways are not our ways. The most important quality God desires to develop in us is our dependence on Him and Him alone. When we begin to make decisions based on reason and analysis instead of the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit, we get into trouble with God. David later learned the importance of this principle in his own life. This encounter was one of the stepping-stones in his pilgrimage. David was an extraordinary entrepreneur. He ran the nation very successfully, but he, like each of us, had to learn the difference between "good things" and "God-things."Are you involved in anything in which God has not directed you to be involved? Do you seek God about every decision, every action before you take it? This is where God wants you and me to be. Ask Him to show you how to walk with Him in this way.

So obviously God is trying to tell me something. I don't think I would randomly think of that story yesteray and then receive it an email devotion today. I will try to reveal here as it is revealed to me. Here is the prayer that came with the devotion.

Today's Prayer September 20, 2007
Dear God, Thank you for having a purpose for my life and for telling me what Your expectations are through the Bible. I know You must be disappointed with me many times, when I fail to meet Your expectations of me. I can identify with that from a human standpoint. When I expect a family member to be responsible and to do something that they do not do, or when they make wrong choices in life, I am very disappointed. Sometimes I feel frustrated or angry and other times heartbroken. Help me to be kind-hearted and long-suffering with them, like You are with me. Guide me to handle those disappointments with integrity; to remain quiet when I should and to speak up when I should. Please give me the thoughts, words, and actions You want me to have. And God, please forgive me for disappointing You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.


ocean mommy said...

I receive that devotion too.

This was a powerful post Amy!


Carol said...

Whew! That was a strong one. Excellent post! Carol