“They included all the little ones… For they were faithful in consecrating themselves.”
Ten years ago I walked down the aisle to the man I knew (and still know!) God intended for me to spend the rest of my life with. That day we pledged to have each other’s backs no matter what.
In this verse in 2 Chronicles the Levites (Israelites who aided the priests in their temple duties) were being commended for faithfully consecrating themselves unto the Lord. Faithfulness is a daily occurrence, not a sporadic implementation, but a steady determination demonstrated through action.
In high-school I faithfully attended church and youth group, but the hours in between were spent living selfishly for myself and unfaithfully toward the Lord. God saw my heart for what it was and He lovingly but firmly led me through some disciplinary action in order to align my heart and actions with His.
Just as I pledged to be faithful to my husband ten years ago, I pledged to be faithful to God when I asked Him to be my Lord and Savior. I am very thankful I have been much more successful at remaining faithful to my husband than to the Lord, for no earthly man has the infinite amount of grace and mercy our Lord has.
In Romans 12:1 we are encouraged to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord. I hope we can all heed the example of the Levites in 2 Chronicles and be commended for faithfully living a life that glorifies the Lord.
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“Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions. And they have not exposed your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity. But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles. “
They don’t claim to be prophets, more like marketing agents or advertisement executives. They may not claim to speak for God, but they do an excellent job of turning our attention away from Him. I believe the enemy likes to work smarter, not harder. By this I mean he knows he doesn’t have to plan and manipulate Job-like (AKA: extremely terrible) circumstances for Christians to become ineffective. If he can simply distract us from loving the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, the result is often rendering us impotent.
While I don’t personally know many of you reading this, let me ask you to please get vulnerable. Pretend we are sitting in front of a cozy fire (sans kids!) with a cup of coffee in our hands and allow me to ask you… do you know your “Achilles heel”? Do you know what easily distracts you from living for God’s glory? If you asked me I’d be honest and tell you it’s nutrition and exercise. Those are certainly not bad things. But if I let them consume me, or make them a priority over God, they’ve become an idol. And that’s not good. I know for some of my friends it’s social media or their kids. Loving our kids is a wonderful thing! But if we place them on a pedestal before God, we’ve put them in a position God never intended them to be.
I would encourage you to take a moment and think about some of your weaknesses the Devil can easily tempt you with. Next, I’d encourage you to look up some scriptures to meditate on when you feel an attack from the enemy. Maybe having an accountability partner is what you need. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your effectiveness for God’s kingdom. Put on His armor and stand ready for battle!
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“Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? But NOW be strong…”
Haggai 2:3-4A (NIV)
When my family and I get together we love to reminisce over wonderful memories from the past. We had a Dalmatian dog that my brother and I would run races against, my sister and I laugh at the games we used to play in the car on road trips, and my grandpa used to own a forty-foot sailboat on Lake Michigan that would occupy our summer weekends. Oh, the good ol’ days. That’s how the returned exiles felt coming back to the land of Israel after their Babylonian captivity. After they completed building a new temple for the Lord the older generation wailed in anguish for the glory of Solomon’s temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. They longed for the splendor and ease of the past.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in how the Lord has worked through us in the past; we live off our testimony that occurred years earlier. Or we get stuck dreaming of the future: what we can do for God when the kids finally go off to school, when we finally retire or when the all-consuming time commitment we are currently involved in ends. But that’s not God’s will for us! He gives us testimonies in our past to encourage us in the here and now trials of life. He gives us dreams for the future to give us intentionality with how we use our spare time presently. But if all we do is live in the past or future, nothing will get accomplished NOW. The point of the book of Haggai is to inspire Israel to be faithful to God in their current condition despite unmet expectations. God wants us to live for His glory NOW! He wants us to go and make disciples today, He wants us to be His light to our co-workers now, He wants us to cherish every hug and cuddle from our children today! As the saying goes: Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Today only happens once. Don’t let it pass you by. Let’s live for His glory today and do so in the power of His Holy Spirit.
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