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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Let Us Be Realistic, We Need To Face Our Real Enemies


by Arthelo Palma

1 Samuel 28

Let Us Be Realistic, We Need To Face Our Real Enemies

Everyday we are facing situations by which we need to decide. Some moves we might create are compromising, leading us to choose our own ways rather than God’s. We go after our own will, rather than God’s.

In today’s reading, king Saul was desperate enough to hear the voice of God, so he resulted to consulting a medium (verse 7). Saul has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land (verse 9), but now with his frantic need to hear the voice of God, he compromised by reviving what he has already brought to a halt.

This was just a consequence Saul received when the Lord turned away from him and become his enemy (verse 16).

Saul did not obey the Lord, as he did not carry the Lord’s fierce wrath against the Amalekites (verse 18).

Today, how many Amalekites we might have within us that the Lord detests, but we still continue to allow them to survive? The Bible, particularly in Luke 6, shows how Jesus loves the sinners, but hates sins. Yes, the living Amalekites in our lives today are not only troubles and other circumstances, but above all, sins that we need to completely destroy.

In Ephesians, Paul wanted us to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice, but we need to be compassionate to each other and showing forgiveness just as how Christ God forgave us (4:31-32). Paul reminded us that no hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity, or greed, obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking which are out of place could be found among us as these are improper to God’s people (5:3-4). Paul warned us that no immoral, impure or greedy person, like an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (5:5). Therefore, living in sin makes every one of us becomes idolater in our own way. God hates idolaters just like the Amalekites. God’s wrath comes to those who are disobedient (5:6), like Saul.

How sad would it be for those Christians, in the coming days, when Jesus Christ would tell us these words? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Jesus was referring here those believers who deliberately follow their will and not God’s. As a result, it would be hard for these people to hear the voice of God, so creating their ways and means to receive the word of God, just like Saul is the only way they could console themselves from fears and deep desperation brought by circumstances for their disobedience. But God’s word did not change for Saul. God was determined to do what He predicted through the prophet Samuel (verse 17).

God’s message:

There is always life, power, and strength upon hearing, listening and obeying the word of God.

God’s promise:

God hears the voice of His obedient people.

God’s command:

Let God do His own way for us through our full obedience to His words.

God’s warning:

Doing things our own way would be detestable to God if that is against His will.

Applications:

Not hearing the word of God should give us the opportunity to humble down before Him, asking Him to cleanse our hearts and to forgive us our sins. Then after that, decide to conquer all sins through asking the grace of God. Our battle is His battle, so let God do the rest.

Prayer:

Father in Heaven, Creator of all things, the heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, truly Father You are above everything and everyone. Thank You that once again we heard your words, giving us strong convictions to crush all the enemies with the right we have now through the power of Your words. It is our prayer that You will not harden our hearts as we heard Your words today. Continue to be with us Father as we face our battles, but we entrust them to You for they are Yours. Help us Father to overcome them, and today we hold Your promise that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. Thank you for the victory that is coming to our lives as we constantly hear Your words, giving us all the power and strength to move on and face every battle we have. Cover all these words we hear today by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Lord.. This we ask and pray in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen!

photo credit: Eneas via Flickr cc MORE DEVOTIONAL ARTICLES HERE>>
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