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"Helping" God

As people, we tend to be impatient. We expect something to happen, it’s not happening, so maybe we’ll just help it along. “Take matters into our own hands” as the saying goes. While the Christian faith is a faith of action, it is also a faith of patience. We can see what happened Biblically when people failed to wait on the Lord.
In 1 Sam. 13, Saul is not-so-patiently waiting for Samuel to show up at Gilgal. Only priests were to present offerings to God. The crowds were getting restless, so Saul does a DIY (do it yourself) burnt offering. Perhaps the smoke is still rising when Samuel shows up. Saul has all kinds of “reasons” for rushing ahead without Samuel, but Samuel tells him it was foolish to break the command of God and that his kingdom will not continue (1 Sam. 13:8-14).
Abram and Sarai are another example. God said the offspring would come from Abraham’s body but Abram and Sarai were not getting any younger. Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai” (Gen 16:1-2). This rush to “help” God provide an offspring made for all kinds of headaches.
Where are we growing impatient? Is a call to action prompted by the Holy Spirit or is it just a quick-fix to end the waiting? God doesn’t need our “help;” let’s wait on Him.

Posted by Joan S. with 0 Comments

Hear and Obey

When one of our sons was small, he had some difficulty hearing because of numerous ear infections and subsequent tubes in his ears. I remember the ENT doctor saying, “I can help him hear, but I can’t help him obey what he is hearing.” Yes, there is a distinction between hearing and obeying! As Christians, we know this.

Biblical cultures were action-oriented, and the original language of scripture reflects this emphasis. In Hebrew, many verbs that we consider purely mental activities (hearing, knowing, remembering, etc.) include the physical counterpart. In Deut. 6:4, we see a perfect example of this: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the Lord is one.”

The Hebrew word that’s translated hear in our Bibles is “shema” and meant to hear AND obey. Israel was called to hear that the Lord is one, but they were called to more than just an intellectual ascent. They were called to live like it! One Lord, one God, and single-hearted devotion to Him.

Jesus is constantly calling us to put His words into action. It’s not enough to just know what He said. It’s not enough to being able to quote Scripture (as good as that is). We have not truly assimilated the Word into our hearts until it comes out in our actions. Let’s not fill up on the Word; let’s be doers of it (James 1:22).

Posted by Joan S. with 0 Comments

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