faith

Rebellion and Arrogance

Today’s Readings: I Sam 14, I Chron 4, II Cor 13

My Scripture Verse for Today:  I Sam 15:22-23 But Samuel replied: does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

Yes, I know, my verse for today is out of I Sam 15, not 14.  I misread today’s assignment and read 15 and 16 instead of 14.  Oops. But you know what?  God met me in I Sam 15 too.

Today’s reading was about Saul not obeying the admonition of the LORD in the destruction of the Amalekites. He was to destroy everything and everyone, but he chose to capture the Amalekite king, Agag, and he and his army kept the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and the lambs back for themselves.  Saul claimed they were for a sacrifice for the LORD, and that it wasn’t he that made the decision, instead he blamed his soldiers.

Two phrases jumped out at me in this passage. Rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance is like the evil of idolatry. Both of these are sins of the heart. When I rebel, I am saying that I know better than God what is best for me. I am claiming to see the future, maybe not verbally, but I believe I can see the future outcome of a situation. When I rebel, I am setting myself up as equal or better to the one I am rebelling against.

The second phrase, arrogance is like the evil of idolatry, again is another picture of a heart set against God. Dictionary.com defines arrogance as “offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.” Idolatry is defined in the second definition as “excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.”. Really, arrogance is setting myself up as a god, instead of humbling myself before the one who truly is God.

Both rebellion and arrogance, I, like Saul, struggle with.  But when I camped on these two phrases today, I saw my rebellion and arrogance for the ugly, black things they really are and myself for who I really am.

My prayer for myself today:  Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.

 

 

faith

Why I Like Rhinos…

 

 

Rhinos are incredible animals and a wonderful picture of a life lived by faith and not sight.  Did you know that a rhino can only see 30 feet in front of him?  They have absolutely no clue of what’s beyond that 30 foot mark. You could totally make fun of a rhino at 31 feet and he’d never see it, but at 30 feet, watch out!  In addition, a charging rhino moves at 30 miles per hour. Pretty fast! And at their weight and speed, you definitely don’t want to be in their way.

So picture a charging rhino, moving at 30 mph and only seeing the first 30 feet in front of him.  There could be a wall at 50 feet out and the rhino wouldn’t know that when he first starts running.

This is one picture of my faith journey – I am a charging rhino, trusting that God’s laid out the journey ahead of me and has given me enough room to make course corrections when I need them.

faith

Go In The Strength You Have

Judges 6:14 The LORD turned to him (Gideon) and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

It’s ironic that this verse should be in today’s assigned reading from Life Journal in light of my blog post yesterday.  Perhaps I need another refresher course in relying on God’s power.

In Judges 6 and 7 is the story of Gideon and his army’s defeat of Midian.  The Midianites were, at this time, regularly raiding Israel’s fields.  The angel of the LORD visits Gideon as he threshes wheat inside of a wine press, hoping to keep it hidden from the Midianites.    The angel of the LORD greets him saying, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior”, yet Gideon appears whiny and weak.  Gideon whines to the angel, “But sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?  Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13

That’s when verse 14 happens.  “The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength that you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Gideon gives God all kinds of excuses about why he can’t and how he is so weak…. God doesn’t buy into any of them.

“Go in the strength you have and save Israel…” I don’t have to have superhuman strength, I just need to step out in faith and watch God’s power and strength win the battle.  I have this picture in my mind of a man standing and facing this huge enemy horde. He takes one step forward and all the power of God that’s been mustering behind him comes rushing forward to utterly destroy everything in front of him. I’m no theologian, but this is the picture in my head.

“Go in the strength that you have.”  Sometimes it takes all the strength that I have to take one step.  Praise God!  He’s got it from there.

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A blog post every day.

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog once a day for the rest of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

Signed,