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Blessings in His Presence

David was told, “The Lord has blessed the family of Obed-Edom and everything he owns because of the ark of God.” So David went and joyfully brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David.
2 Samuel 6:12 NET


King David wanted to move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. For some reason, he didn’t inquire about the way to really do it correctly. Instead, they put the Ark on a new cart.

On the way to Jerusalem, the oxen stumbled and David’s friend tried to make sure that the Ark didn’t fall off the new cart. As a result, he touched the Ark, something no one should do, and died.

David was upset and lost the desire to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. So, he left the Ark at a nearby home, Obed-Edom’s. As a result, everyone recognized that Obed was being blessed in everything he did.

It was enough to convince David that he needed to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, where his palace was located.

The Ark represented the Presence of God on the Earth. Now, on this side of the Resurrection, the Presence of God is established in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of us!

Having the Presence of God inside of us brings a blessing that is far greater than Obed-Edom ever experienced.

Are you allowing the Presence of God to reign in your life? Or are you leaving it somewhere else, like David did, for whatever reason?

When you don’t fully embrace the Presence of God, you are missing out on the fullness of what He has for you!

God is still blessing those who allow His Presence to have the most important place in their life.

Father, if I don’t keep You as the most important priority of my life, please make me aware of my failings and bring me back to You. You are everything to me.

Peace
Todd

Your Best

“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord.
Leviticus 1:2-3 ESV


 

There are many things that we put a lot of thought into before we make a move.  We plan out our week, big meetings and projects, special dates and more.  When we take time to plan out our moves, it is because they are important and need specific action and attention.  The rest of life can just happen, but these special times need a little bit more of our focus.

When the Israelites sacrificed to the Lord, they were given specific instructions.  Someone couldn’t just decide to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and pay online.  This wasn’t an impulse purchase/sacrifice.

No, they needed a special animal from their flock.  They had to take it to the “tent of meeting.”  They needed to get it in front of the priest, slaughter it and specific things had to happen.

Thought and purpose went into going to the Lord to offer a sacrifice.

How easily it seems now.  Many believers come to the Lord with little to really offer.  There is no thought put into what they are doing or to Whom they are going to be in front of to worship.

Many believe that “God is God” so He understands that we need to fit him in between our busy schedules.

God should receive our full attention.  When we walk into His Presence, we should do it with the awe and fear of the Lord, that Solomon writes, is the beginning of wisdom.  He should have our full heart and mind.  He deserves it!

How do you need to prepare to bring the Lord your very best and do it in a thoughtful and purposeful way?

Father, forgive me when I have treated Your Holiness as a common thing.  Help me to bring You the very best of what I have to offer.

Peace
Todd

Perfect!

This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
2 Samuel 22:31 ESV


We would all like to achieve perfection in the things that we do.  The perfect kids, family, house, job, car, etc..  It would be great to have this perfect little world that we could live in.  But we all know that is far from the truth.  Life isn’t perfect. It’s far from it!

But God, He is perfect!  His way is perfect!

Everything in life can be so-so, but God in your life, that makes the difference.  He is perfect!

And not only is He perfect, But His Word is also perfect! His Word is true!

So it stands to reason, that anyone who wants the truth, should read and study His Word! And as they read, they should understand that He will accomplish what His Word says.  You can bank on all of His promises!

And lastly, this perfect God is a shield to all who come to Him.  He is a protector!  When you go to Him and allow His perfect ways to guide your life, He marks you as His and protects you!

What more do you want than perfect?  Don’t settle for anything else out there.  It will never measure up to what God has prepared for you.  Because it is perfect!

Father, make Your desire, my desire.  Help me to live the life that glorifies You.  Help me to trust in Your ways, because there is no one else like You.

Peace
Todd

Giving Your Best

When the priests enter the Holy Place, they shall not go out of it into the outer court without laying there the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They shall put on other garments before they go near to that which is for the people.”
Ezekiel 42:14 ESV


In our modern world, we value getting up and getting ready to face the day.  We take showers, comb our hair, brush our teeth, put on clean clothes, etc…  We sometimes prepare ourselves mentally, especially when we are going to face something that requires a lot of thought or will require a lot of our emotions.

But do we prepare ourselves spiritually?

In the vision that God gave Ezekiel of the new temple, there was a specific place where the priests that were ministering to God would go in and change.  They were not allowed to wear the garments that they wore to serve the Lord out in public.

This caused the priests to understand that they were doing something special, something sacred.  They were physically putting on a holy garment and while they did that, they could shift their thinking to realizing they were going into the Holy Place to serve a Holy God.

Something similar would probably help us to treat the things of God more sacred than we really do.  He is Holy and we should come to Him with the same reverence and awe the priests did.

That means that we prepare ourselves to enter into His presence every day.  That means that we are excited to worship with our brothers and sisters on Sunday morning and it isn’t something we miss.  It means that when we go to church or to a meeting where God is glorified, that we give Him our best, like go to sleep early so we are fully aware and awake when we worship.

The fact is He is worthy.  He is God!  And He deserves our full attention, full adoration, full heart and mind when we come to Him.

How could you prepare yourself to give God your best?

Father, help me to always remember that I serve a Holy God.  Help me to give you the very best I can give.  Not because I have to earn Your love and mercy, but because You deserve it and I want to honor and glorify You.

Peace,
Todd

 

Seeing

He replied, “Don’t be afraid, for our side outnumbers them.” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:16-17 NET


You will fear when you only see with your eyes. That’s not true for the Believer who is spirit-filled and trusts in the leading of the Holy Spirit.

For that Believer knows that God is in control and no matter what the situation looks like, God can change it in a matter of moments.

Here, God blinded the enemy and Elisha was able to lead them right into the hands of the King.

The whole situation changed in a moment because Elisha trusted in God!

Are you trusting in God?

We have situations that we go through. Sometimes they are desperate like this one, other times they are mere inconveniences. But in both cases, we should trust the Lord to do what He sees fit.

This comes from getting to know Jesus more and more. This comes from spending time with Him.

Even Elisha’s servant didn’t see the angel armies surrounding them. He had to have his eyes open too!

Pray that the Lord would open your eyes to His moves. Pray that you are able to identify God in the world around you. That will build trust!

He is working and moving around us all the time. Do you dare to see Him?

Father, reveal Yourself to me in a deeper way. Help me to see You when it is apparent. I thank You that You always have me secured in Your grip.

Peace
Todd

Truly Valuable

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Proverbs 2:1-6 ESV


Are you driven?  Is there something so important to you that you sleep, eat and dream about it?  Many people do.  The question is, is it truly valuable?

As a kid, there were a lot of things I thought I wanted.  I would obsess over them.  I would research and know that thing so well that I could answer any question about it.  Then it would fade and I was off to the next thing.

Adults do this too!  We don’t call it an obsession though.  We call it “seasons of life.”   And like the seasons of the year, we can easily move from one thing to the next.

But your relationship with the Lord shouldn’t be a “season of life.”  It should BE your life!

You have a lifetime to spend getting to know the Lord.  Use your time wisely!  There are so many things in this life that can eat up your time.  By the time you know it, you have spent years chasing things that don’t truly matter.

But the things of the Lord do matter.  They matter here and now and also for eternity.

Have you been devoting time to Him?  Have you been searching and pursuing a right relationship with the Lord?  He won’t let you down!

Father, thank You that true meaning in this life is found only in You.  Reveal Yourself in a greater and deeper way as I seek Your face.

Peace,
Todd

Seeing Him

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom.
2 Samuel 17:14 ESV


You need to know that sometimes God works in the background!

When Absalom conspired against his own father to take the kingdom and kill him off, he sought the counsel of Ahithophel and Hushai.  Ahithophel was a very wise man.  In fact, the Bible says that his advice to others was like if someone had consulted the Word of God.

But one of King David’s advisors, Hushai, stayed behind in Jerusalem and made it seem like he had turned on David and was now supporting Absalom.  His advice countered Ahithophel and saved David.

But it wasn’t because Hushai used better words or more persuasive speech.  It was because God was at work in the background, causing Absalom and the elders of Israel to listen to his advice instead of Ahithophel’s.

And this still happens today.  God is in the background, working in our daily lives and many times we miss Him because we don’t give Him the place in our lives that He deserves.

Not only that, but we miss the blessing of knowing that God cares so much about us that He moves in our lives.

Are you spending enough time with Him so that you can identify what He is doing?  Or does what happen in your life just happen because it just happens?

Spend time with Him.  Read His Word. Pray.  When you stay close to someone, you start to know them and identify their voice and actions.  This is exactly what happens when you spend time with the Lord.  The Holy Spirit reveals the actions of the Father to you.

Father, thank You for allowing Your creation to know You intimately and to know that You are active in our lives.  Give me eyes to see You and what You are doing and give You glory.

Peace,
Todd

Front Seat

And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a man mortally wounded.
Ezekiel 30:24 ESV


How would you like a front seat and insight to world events before and as they happen?  Ezekiel did!  God spoke to Him and told him to prophesize what was going to happen.

The people of Ezekiel’s time would have known Babylon and Egypt as two big superpowers.  Egypt had been a player on the world scene for hundreds of years.  But that was going to end!

And it was all happening because God had a plan and it was coming to fruition!  Although Egypt and Babylon were not run by “believers,” God was using them for His purposes.

And what would change today?

Do you ever consider the things going on in the world today are due to the hand of God?  Could God be setting up nations and people to fulfill His will?  Yes!  He does and He is!

And like God made known to Ezekiel what was going to happen, He still reveals what He is doing in the world.  And it is all for His glory!

The problem here is that many people, even Believers, don’t want to know or don’t care to know.  They are happy living in their own world, not acknowledging that we are here to glorify God!

Pay attention, because God is always setting it up.  And things seem to be ramping up.  Don’t miss what God is doing because something on TV or the other things of life seem to take all of your attention.

Father, as You always have, move mightily in the Earth and cause Your will to go forth.  Give Your people an insight into what You are doing, so we can all glorify Your name.

Peace,
Todd

He Doesn’t Forget

Yes, he remembered the sacred promise he made to Abraham his servant.
Psalms 105:42 NET


God doesn’t forget! That’s a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

It’s bad because the Word tells us what will happen to those who don’t live according to His will.

It’s good for the very same reason! We can know what God desires for us because it is written in His Word.

The key here is knowing His Word and adjusting your life to it.

Get that?

Adjust your life to God’s Word, not the other way around!

Don’t try to adjust God’s Word to your life! You will be miserable and never know the true victory that Believers have in the Lord.

Take time to know God’s promises. If He always keeps His promises and they are good for you, then get in His Word and learn them. More than that, stand on them!

He comes through!

Jesus said that if you love me, you will keep my commands. He tied our love and devotion back to His Word!

When was the last time you picked up the Bible and read? I’m not talking about one verse or a few favorite verses!

I’m talking about reading purposely, maybe using a reading plan? Are you consistent?

What would putting the Word of God in you everyday do to your relationship with God?

And if you truly desire Him to be bigger in your life, why wouldn’t you want to spend time in His Word?

His promises were true back then and they are true today! Know what He has for you!

Father, thank You for Your Word. I’m grateful for the ability to read, learn and know who You are through Your Word.

Peace
Todd

Where Is Ammon?

For thus says the Lord God: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within your soul against the land of Israel,  therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you, and will hand you over as plunder to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries; I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
Ezekiel 25:6-7 ESV


Where is Ammon and where are the Ammonite people nowadays?  The Ammonites are gone, absorbed, assimilated into other people groups in the Middle East.  And where is Israel, in their own country!

The Ammonites were enemies of Israel.  In Ezekiel’s time, they rejoiced when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in the Babylonian exile.  And because of that, God said He would destroy them.

Some people might think that is very unfair of God.  They would say that God is mean and not very loving.  But the Jews were God’s chosen people.  His discipline was His discipline, not a reason for other countries to rejoice.  Ask yourself, what wouldn’t you do to defend your own kids?

The meaning for us is that God is there to protect and care for His children.  If you are His, He sees you the same way.  He will stand up for you!  Even when you are weak, He will fight for you!

So like Israel had to trust Him, even during their discipline, Christians should trust Him too!  He has eyes on us to be there for us and help us.  This is God I’m writing about, the Creator of the Universe looks for and knows you!

Just look at Israel, prophecy has been fulfilled, they are back in their land and very prosperous.  God still has a plan for them!  They have suffered greatly throughout History, but He has never let them be wiped out!  And He will do the same for you!

Are you trying to figure it all out?  Or are you trusting Him?

Father, thank You that You are always looking down from Heaven, active in my life.  Help me to trust Your ways and not my own.

Peace,
Todd