Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Elohim, God Almighty!

Today in my Chronological Bible, I read about the Ark of God being taken captive by the Philistines. The Ark of God is His Presence, and as I read that, I thought about how sometimes I allow God's Presence in my life to be taken captive by my circumstances. I become overwhelmed with tasks or burdens from friends or family members. I get too busy and God's Presence gets pushed right out of my sight. The noise of daily living sometimes, too often, drowns out the still small voice of God.

But God is so faithful. The Philistines kept the Ark for only seven months. God's presence was not in its rightful place and He let them know. They kept moving it because entire towns were dying. Every time they moved it, the wrath of God fell on the town where it was being held. So they hitched it up to a cart pulled by two unbroken cows whose calves had been taken away. You'd think those cows would be crazy trying to get to their calves, but no, they plodded right back to Israel, pulling the very Presence of God.

But even when the Ark arrived back in Israel, the Israelites did not treat it with the respect that God requires. God does not dance in and out of our lives as we flippantly call on Him. He will not share His glory and will not compete with anything that we allow to take His place. Seeking God's presence is not something to be taken lightly. It is serious business. We can't just take God and place Him in the middle of all that we view as important. He is either Lord and the center of our lives or He is not! If His presence is not in its rightful place, all havoc breaks loose!

Lord, help me never to allow my circumstances, my busy-ness or anything I deem important to take precedence over You. Help me always to keep You in Your proper place as Supreme Champion in my life--as if I could "keep" you anywhere. But You know what I mean. Help me to recognize the times I take Your presence lightly or am flippant about who You are. Yes, you are my daddy, but you are also Elohim, Jehovah, whose name the Israelites didn't dare say out loud or even write out completely for fear of You. The awesome power of Your presence is more than my mortal body can withstand. In it is the power to heal and to destroy, to bring life and to bring death. Let me never forget who You are, Lord!

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!