shadow

Good Intention—Bad Idea

“They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart.”
2 Samuel 6:6. NIV

In 1885, Karl Benz gave our world the first gasoline powered automobile, and manufacturers have tweaked his confounded contraption ever since. More than three-quarters of a century later, Ford Motor Company tried to rally baby boomers with the slogan, “Ford has a better idea,” and replaced the “o” in Ford with a light bulb to symbolize inspiration and encourage sales.

Free enterprise has made our nation great, but a product that has “new and improved” stamped on its package doesn’t always mean it is. How often have you tried a new and improved version only to return to the tried and proven one? Some things are so timeless, recognizable, and ingenious that it doesn’t make sense to try and improve them. It’s hard to perfect the paper clip, a #2 pencil, Post-It-Notes, chap stick, or the fork and spoon—although some have made a stab at it with the spork. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

During the reign of Israel’s King Saul, the Ark of the Covenant (a gold-covered wooden chest made to house the Tablets of the Law and seat the Glory of God) rested in the home of his son Abinadab. When David became king, he vowed to return the Ark to the Holy city of Jerusalem. Instead of the Levites carrying it with poles on their shoulders as God had initially instructed Moses (Exodus 25:12-14), they attempted to transport the Ark by a Philistine method and placed it on a new cart. When the oxen stumbled, Uzzah, the son of Abinadab, took hold of the Ark to steady it. Instantly, God in his anger struck him dead with fire.

Whoa! God’s response to Uzzah’s good intention seems harsh, but no matter how innocent, his irreverent act violated God’s command not to touch the Ark. Thankfully, we live in the day of God’s grace, or any one of us could go the way of Uzzah. “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” (Romans 6:15). We must continue to revere God and honor his Holy ways.

When was the last time you failed to heed God’s instructions? Became impatient with his timing? Tried to help him out? For me—it’s not been that long. 2 Samuel 6 with its “hands off” message quickly came to the forefront. Regardless of what I thought—I didn’t have a better idea.

I heeded God’s warning. Not because I feared an untimely demise, but because I knew meddling would hinder the work of the Spirit in my situation and result in the death of God’s best.

No matter how good our intentions, attempting to tweak perfection is always a bad idea.

-Starr Ayers

Grasping the Victory Part 5

“So they worshipped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy”
Luke 24:52

Well, the stunned disciples finally grasped the victory that was theirs! If this is the first day you have joined us this week I hope you can go back and read Monday-Thursday. It will make today’s Dose so much more meaningful to you!

We have witnessed this week how going through a struggle lets us experience God first hand – it lets us see Him at work in our personal life. If the disciples had not experienced such extreme hardship – extreme emotional turmoil – such doubt and failure in their own actions – they couldn’t have experienced such victory either. They would never have appreciated that victory or the ones to come.  They also would never have been able to “grasp” and accomplish their mission.

 It’s the same way with us, dear one.

Remember that four year long struggle I shared with you on Monday? It was one of the hardest struggles I have ever faced. Yet, though it lasted so long and was so emotionally taxing, even if I had the opportunity – I would not go back and change a thing. If I could go back and totally avoid the struggle and keep all the enjoyment the struggle caused us to lose – I wouldn’t. I never thought I’d say that because it doesn’t make sense. There will come a day, when the time is right, for us to share the details of that story, but believe me when I tell you it was gut wrenching.

But without it, we would have missed experiencing God’s faithfulness – and “grasping” – comprehending it for ourselves.   All those days when we asked, “God, where are you in all this? Are you really there at all? If we could just see your hand at work…….” Day after day, month after month, for four long years we wondered if His hand was at work at all in that struggle. But we kept on believing because the Word said to – very weakly most of the time – but we didn’t give up calling out to Him. We tried to handle the struggle and its consequences according to the teachings of His Word – and it was very hard. But in the end, His truth won out – His promises remained true. I wouldn’t give up experiencing that for the comfort and material blessings of times past for anything.

You know that struggle you are facing now?  Yes, that one – without going through it you will never be able to experience the victory to come. Believe me my friend – you don’t want to miss that. You don’t want to miss seeing the hand of the God of the universe at work in your heart and life in a personal way.  There is no greater joy, no greater wonder in this life.

Jesus said “ ….. in this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”

Believe Him. Grasp His power to overcome. Grasp His promise. Comprehend who He is and what He wants to do in your life. When you do, your life will never be the same.

 Until next time……….

Your traveling companion,

Brenda

 

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/morcomm-45474

Grasping the Victory Part 4

And He said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.”
Luke 24:46

Well, we left off yesterday looking on as the mercy of Jesus over-rode what must have been a powerful urge to laugh at the disciples – mercy that proceeded to prove to them that the story was true. Everything he had been telling them for the past three years was indeed true.

From Jesus’ own lips straight to our hearts, the verse above tells us He was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, come to planet Earth for one purpose; to offer forgiveness to all who would repent.

As He appeared to them in verse 36, He continued to prove himself – who he was – that his resurrection was real. My friend,  He doesn’t laugh at us when we have a hard time comprehending – grasping – His story, His love, and His mercy. He knows our humanity. He just proves himself once we are willing to take that baby step toward Him – a baby step of belief that He is Who He said he was. He did what he said he would do – and still does today.

 

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17KJV

His love is the real thing – and the real thing – real love – does not condemn the one loved. Instead, it reaches out to the one standing frozen – trying to comprehend the magnitude of the mercy being offered. It reaches out to the one standing stunned, trying to understand the Good News – that ALL our old mistakes – our mess-ups – our sins – can be wiped away. His promise is clear and true –

 

Look back up there to what he said in verse 47 – I underlined it for you. That includes you dear one. You.

 

In this Easter season, maybe you are the one standing frozen with doubt, speechless with the same doubts and fears the disciples had, the same thoughts about how “un-be-liev-able” this story is; yet we see God’s own Son ready, willing and able – reaching out to you with a promise of Hope, wanting to prove to you that He is real. 

 

 “ Yes Lord. I believe. I repent ( turn from my way – to your way ) as best as I know how. I am willing to learn your ways.  I receive your forgiveness. I ask you to come into my life – lead me – guide me – and direct my path. Yes, Lord, I ask this today. In the name of Jesus, amen.”

 

Precious one, if you just spoke those thoughts to Jesus and meant them from your heart, He now lives in your life. He will never leave you or forsake you.  Please email me – just hit reply at the top of the page. What a privilege it would be to get to know you and be your friend and fellow zookeeper.

Until tomorrow……

Your traveling companion

Brenda

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/Rissmu-54229