Just Do ItOctober 23, 2006
If one predominate thing came out of the preaching today, (actually yesterday as it’s well past midnight) it was the need to “trust and obey.” To strive to place obediance over sacrifice. There are so many verses concerning this; one of the most popular being Proverbs 3:5-6 which reads:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
This has been the requirement throughout history, to trust the Lord and don’t place any hope in the physical world which can give way without warning. (Just ask job) When the physical world fails; leaving you between the Red Sea and the armies of Egypt, it’s then that two things take place. First, you find out if you really trust the Lord Jesus the way that you claim to. You can claim to be trusting the Lord to meet every need, but when you reach a point where you have absolutly no other alternative, you will suddenly find out how steadfast your faith is. Second, it’s in moments such as this that God can work in your life and he will be glorified. When God parted the Red Sea, he alone was glorified. Such has been the case throughout the ages and is the case today.
I have always loved the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo as they refused to bow to the kings image. (Something to ponder as soon, another image will be set up and men will be required to worship it by taking a mark) As you know they were brought in before Nebuchadnezzar concerning this act of disobediance where the king explained to them that they were to bow to this image every time the music played. Daniel 3:17-18 tells their reply:
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
As you know they were thrown into the seven times hotter than usual furnace for refusing to worship the image. Verses 24 and 25 tell about what Nebuchadnezzar saw when he looked in. He saw, not three bound men, but four men loose and walking in the midst of the fire, and the fourth looked like the Son of God. These three Hebrew men loved God, trusted God, and didn’t hold dear the things of this present world; things which have no eternal standing. We need to have our hearts firmly established in like fashion if we’re going to stand in the times that we find ourselves in. (This truly is the last generation; I really believe this) Many don’t take the coming persecution seriously; preferring to name and claim success in this life. They cling to the flesh pots of Egypt instead of setting their affections on things above. These folks would have a rough time in Uzbekistan, or in Eritrea where it’s reported that ten percent of the christian population is in prison for their faith. Just check out “Arabs for Christ” and “Voice of the Martyrs” both of which are on the blogroll.
In preaching today, Pastor Perkins used the example of King Saul in I Samual in talking about obediance being better than sacrifice. A sacrifice is a very temporary occurrance (such as a fast or an incarceration for the gospels sake-don’t think that it can never happen here) On the other hand, obediance is an ongoing way of conducting yourself. Being obediant something that you do 24/7 and it will often result in one making sacrifices. In the case of King Saul, he had this concept backwards as he spared the best of the Amalekites livestock and told Samual that he was going to use them for sacrifice unto the Lord. This would have seemed like a proper thing to do in the realm of earthly wisdom, but it was contrary to what the Lord had instructed Saul to do. One can do sacrifices to put on a “show” such as when the pharisees would alter their countenance to let everyone know that they were fasting. In Sauls case, he told Samual “I have performed the commandment of the Lord” and he probably believed it. He tried to justify the keeping of certain of the livestock by saying “we saved them to do sacrifice.” The Lord Jesus wants us to follow him, not our own ideas. If we just do that our actions will line up.
I remember hearing an account several weeks ago (the name of the man and the name of the person relaying the story escapes me) about an evangelist in the nineteenth century. As he was in the western United States, the Lord instructed him to go to a lumberjacks camp and preach in the dining hall. When he arrived, the camp was completly empty as everyone was in the woods working. He knew that the Lord wanted him to preach at that moment, in the dining hall. So he went ahead and gave a normal message as though the room was filled to capacity. He told how to be born again and gave an altar call. Following this he left; not understanding why the Lord had wanted him to do that, but knowing that he had been obediant. Several years later, he was standing on a bridge in London England, looking down at the Thames, when a man approached him. This man asked if he had preached in a vacant dining hall several years ago in the western United States. Come to find out, this man had been working from that camp. He had gone back to camp to get a new ax handle when he happened to hear the preacher from outside of the dining hall. He gave his life to Jesus at that moment and upon returning to the woods, told the others. Two of them gave their hearts to Jesus and were at that moment both missionaries in other countries. The Lord only knows how many souls are in heaven today; all because one man dared to do something that seemed rediculous. I pray that we would all learn to be in total obediance to the Lord Jesus Christ and stop trying to do that which seems right in our own eyes. Remember, the seemingly logical choice in a situation may very well not be the proper choice.