Monthly Archives: November 2016

praying-to-jesus-christ

Worshiping GOD

But [the Kohathites] shall not go in to see the sanctuary [the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies] or its holy things, even for an instant, lest they die. [Numbers 4:20 AMPC]

The Kohathites were a tribe from the line of Levi, and as we all know the Levites were assigned the care of the Tabernacle. This tribe was assigned to camp to the south of the Tabernacle and when the camp was to move, they were assigned to carry the holy things (after Aaron and his sons went in and covered everything).

Now, if you have an ounce of Indiana Jones curiosity in you like I do then being a priest from the line of Levi would not be beneficial to our health according to the above passage so when I read this I couldn’t help but wonder – why? We as humans love beautiful things… bright and vibrant colors, things that sparkle, shiny things, etc. and the articles made for the tabernacle would certainly qualify as spectacular.

I remember once, when I worked for a cleaning crew, we would go into the finest houses around. The layout/floor plan always captivated me. Some of these houses had closets as big as my bedroom, and I would imagine myself living in such a house. Then the Holy Spirit said ‘oohing & aweing over these things that are made by man would take our eyes and hearts away from the most important thing in the room – GOD.” Then He showed me the tent (tabernacle) dry rotting and disintegrating along with all the furnishings, and returning to dust but GOD was still shinning as bright as a noon day sun. Then He said “worshipping GOD must not be taken lightly”

See, we want to go in and ooh & awe over the man-made things, ignoring God who is right there watching. What is in the room is not as important as who is in the room. And what is in the room was made by Him who is in the room. We really need to get our focus right.

self

Loving Other People

When asked, what were the most important commandments, Jesus replied “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40). But let us be real – loving other people is harder than it sounds. I’ve pondered this commandment many times, and each time the Holy Spirit tells me, after asking ‘how do I love other people’, ‘You can’t – but I can’. This really threw me for a loop. Why command me to love other people if you already know that I’m not capable of doing so?

In the Garden, after Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, the first thing that happened was “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; [3:7]” They became aware of ‘self’. This is the original sin that is still tripping us up today. We are so absorbed with our own comfort, and ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude that in our own strength it’s impossible for us to put someone else’s needs/wants before our own. But in His strength all things are possible. I don’t know about you, but I want everything Christ died to give me.

Yesterday a friend was struggling in an area and needed someone to talk to, so I took her to one of my favorite spots to walk and commune with God – the cemetery (sounds weird but it’s actually very siren). She explained to me in precise detail what her dilemma was, and one of the things I noticed is she was still trying to overcome bad habits through works of the flesh. I know from experience this is very frustrating and feels like you’re on a roller coaster ride. One day you’re doing good and the next minute you’re picking yourself up off the ground wandering ‘what happened?”. You can wear yourself out trying to accomplish what only the Holy Spirit can do.

The bible tells us “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31). So, what does all this mean and what does it have to do with loving other people? Simple – God will show you as you grow in your walk with Him, areas of your life that need changing. All you have to do is come into agreement with Him (yes – I have a problem) and have a willing, sincere heart to change – then ask the Holy Spirit to help you. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you will raise up with wings as eagles if you wait/hope in the LORD. Took me 5 years to learn this lesson!

Having a hard time forgiving someone? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you! Having a hard time loving someone? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a pliable heart, to see them the way He does. I like the way The Message reads concerning the golden rule (Luke 6:31-36):

“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.”