Deuteronomy 7:9: Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
God is amazing. He is loving and faithful. His love goes beyond our own reason and our understanding. When you look at bible verses like the one above, you get a glimpse into how great His affection for us really is. It gets even better when you experience it for yourself. Anyone who has ever had an intimate relationship with Him knows the joy and peace that it brings. To have the Creator of the entire universe loving and caring for you as He works glorious miracles in your everyday life is nothing short of amazing. Have you ever considered though, that in your life His love is not equally returned by you? I mean sure going to church and quoting scriptures shows that you are at least interested in Him but to truly love Him is so much more than that. Perhaps our love for quoting scriptures and celebrating Christmas and Easter is just a rote practice. It’s a sobering thought, but when you consider what God’s true desire is for man, then it paints a very different picture. He desires more than for you to “like” his scriptures or to recite His wonderful acts that He has done. It goes far beyond being kind to the homeless or that neighbor that gets on your last nerve. God desires so much more. However, we have our own will. The world we live in tells us that we should follow our own hopes, dreams and desires. We do it everyday in everything we choose to spend our time in. Is participation in society’s standards of what’s good interfering with God’s desire for your life? If so, does it hinder your relationship with Him?
Let’s consider the story of Saul, who was the first King of Israel.
Saul did not think that he was good enough to be king. ‘I belong to the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest one in Israel,’ he tells Samuel. ‘Why do you say that I will be king?’ God chooses Saul because he does not pretend to be worthy of kingship. That is ultimately why He chose him to be king. However, Saul is not poor or a small man. He comes from a wealthy family, and he is a very handsome man. He is about a foot taller than anyone else in Israel! Saul is also very athletic. The people were pleased with God’s choice. They all begin to shout: ‘Long live the king!’ The enemies of Israel are as strong as ever. They are still causing a lot of trouble for the Israelites. Soon after Saul is made king, the Amʹmon·ites come up to fight against them, yet Saul was victorious over them.
As the years go by, Saul leads the Israelites to many victories over their enemies. Saul also has a brave son named Jonʹa·than who helps Israel to win many battles. The Phi·lisʹtines are still the Israelites’ worst enemy. One day thousands and thousands of Phi·lisʹtines come to fight against the Israelites.Samuel who is a prophet, tells Saul to wait until he comes and makes a sacrifice to God in order to bless Israel. For one reason or another, Samuel is slow in coming. Saul became afraid that the Phi·lisʹtines will start the battle, so he goes ahead and makes the sacrifice himself. When Samuel finally comes, he tells Saul that he has been disobedient. ‘God will choose another person to be king over Israel,’ Samuel told him. Later Saul disobeys again and Samuel tells him: ‘It is better to obey God than to make a gift to him of the best sheep. Because you have not obeyed God, God will not keep you as king of Israel.’
In Saul’s humble beginning, He was reluctant to be king over Israel because he felt he wasn’t worthy to be considered. Many of us who begin our walk with Christ feel that way. Perhaps, like myself, you had lived a life of sinfulness and selfishness and coming to Christ initially seemed like something you were just not worthy to do. This is very common among babes in Christ and it is in fact true. None of us are worthy of God’s love and none of us should be chosen by Him. It’s only because of His love, grace, and mercy that any of us are called and chosen to walk with the King of the Universe.
As we begin to make a every day routine out of seeking God and serving Him, whether by being an usher or choir member, perhaps a ministry leader even, or just an regular attendee at church, we may feel that the routine of church and the eventual learning of the “Christian walk” is easier than we thought. It’s not unusual for people who have been in the church for awhile to look at it almost like a job or a social gathering where we follow certain rules and trends and prohibit ourselves from acting “out of character” in front of our peers who fellowship with us. We learn important things to do like attend regularly, to pay our tithes and even volunteer for church events. We may decide to help serve food or open doors or greet new members. In all of this rote behavior, we can lose sight of a living God who has desires for us and look at our walk with Christ as any other journey. In it, we may have milestones, like baptism, or our first speaking engagement or teaching our first Sunday school lesson. These are all well and good and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if these milestones and the recognition you get from accomplishing them are the extent of your relationship with Christ, you have truly missed your mark.
It’s easy to consider the enemy of God as being a satanist, standing over a pentagram with a circle around it, chanting some unknown language in a candlelit room. Perhaps he or she is even wearing a dark cloak. I certainly thought of that for a big part of my life. It’s much easier to think of being against God that way then to look inwardly at our own flaws and face the fact that we ourselves often position ourselves against Him. You may wonder how the person described in the previous section fits that category but let’s look back to the life of Saul. Saul was chosen by God to be king. He killed thousands of the Lord’s enemies, he was loved by the people, and he served God to a great capacity for the first part of his kingship. He even had a time where he prophesied with the prophets of his time. Nonetheless, eventually Saul, like many of us lost sight of God’s true purpose in choosing him. He instead was blinded by the affection and traditions of those around him and abandoned God’s direction in his life.
Consider the fact that God’s will accomplished in our lives goes beyond us doing Him a ‘favor’ in serving Him. His desire for us is not so that we can notice Him in the midst of all of the other things of this world that seek to grab our attention and affection. I am willing to wager that many of us don’t even realize that the life we live can be in complete enmity with God. I’m not talking about the satanist standing over the pentagram or the witch chanting over a cauldron. I am talking about church attending, scripture quoting Christians. In all of your “doing right” can you be working against the God we serve?
Tune in tomorrow to find out if you may in fact be an enemy of Christ…
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