Good morning people who approach God from a place of reverence and awe.
1 Samuel 5:11-12 NIV So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.
The Philistines captured and disrespected the ark of the Lord. This was in essence the presence of God. The result was God’s heavy hand came upon them.
It’s no small matter to mess with the presence of God. Yes, God is love, but God is also holy.
I believe there is coming a restoration of holiness to the church. It most surely needs to happen. Flippancy and compromise needs to turn to holiness, awe and honour. True humility needs to come back to the people of God.
The gospel of grace is essential in the church – it is essential. Without it, we are still lost. Grace is what saved us, not works. Grace also sustains us. We can’t be good enough by ourselves, and that is why we need a Saviour. This is all good news.
But it doesn’t equate to license; a belief that we can do what we want because we are under grace, not under law. This is immature thinking and it is based in deception.
Also, talking about holiness and God’s holy standards is not legalism! Oh how I wish that some would see the truth with this.
God is holy, and He has called us to be holy even as He is holy. This is biblical.
Good morning people who do not tolerate other gods in your lives.
1 Samuel 5:1-2 NIV After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon.
The Philistines were the enemies of God’s people, and one could rightfully say, the enemies of God. They had “captured” the ark of God, and they decided to put it alongside their god Dagon. They wanted the best of both gods.
I believe this is a powerful picture that we must be aware of today too.
The world tries to add God to the mix of their lives with other gods also. So many identify as “Christian”, yet “Jesus” is simply put alongside many other gods in their lives. The fruit is no transformation, but rather, only deepening deception. Jesus as a label is not enough.
But we must ensure that we don’t subtly allow it to come in a measure in our lives as believers. We must guard against wanting the best of God – what He can do for us – without any surrender of our lives and will to His Lordship. This can’t work.
Mixture doesn’t work when it comes to God. He won’t share His glory with another, and He most definitely won’t co-exist with any other gods.
I’m reminded of the words God said to His people once He had brought them out of slavery:
Exodus 20:2-3 NIV “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
We will always return to slavery if we add God to the same place as other gods.
Freedom is found in God alone.
Good morning people who think about what the Lord has done in years gone by.
1 Samuel 4:6-8 NIV Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.”
The Philistines were the enemy of God’s people. In this context, they were afraid when they heard the confident shout of the children of Israel when the ark of the Lord came into the camp.
But it’s the next part that spoke to me today.
The Philistines panicked as they (the enemies of God) recounted the stories of what God had done before on behalf of His children! The Philistines started to remember what God had done!
It’s interesting that sometimes the enemy knows and recounts the acts of God more than the people of God do.
Now that’s a sobering thought.
I declare that it is time to think about what the Lord has done! It’s time to remind ourselves and to remind others, and it’s time to even remind the devil of who our God is and all that He has done.
Good morning people who keep in step with the Lord all the days of your lives.
1 Samuel 3:19-21 NIV The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
I feel to pray this over us all.
I pray that we hear God clearly. I also pray that we have boldness to pass on and encourage people with what God is saying. And I pray that none of our words via the Holy Spirit will fall to the ground.
I pray that we will continue to receive revelation through God’s Word. I pray that we will commune with the Holy Spirit as we listen and lean into what Father wants to say.
I feel to pray for accuracy and longevity.
May our spiritual ears and our spiritual eyes be finely tuned to the frequency of heaven. May we know what originates from God and hold onto it.
May we also run well and finish well. May this longevity come from a God confidence; a confidence that God has spoken and that God is able to perform what He authors.
May we all learn to partner with God – from the youngest child through to the oldest adult.
May God be glorified by us as His sons and daughters.
Good morning people who learn to distinguish the voice of the Lord.
In 1 Samuel 3, God calls three times to the young boy Samuel. Samuel assumed it was the older prophet Eli speaking, so he ran to him and asked Eli what he wanted. But it wasn’t Eli, it was God. Finally Eli realised that it is God speaking, so he instructed Samuel what to do.
But here’s the verse I want to look at today:
1 Samuel 3:7 NIV Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
This was said to someone who had heard the Lord, but who didn’t recognise it was God speaking because he did not yet have a personal walk with God.
Many people today want to learn to hear the voice of God. This is a wonderful desire!
I have taught on how to hear God speak many times (and you can access some of this free resource through our website at www.davidmccracken.org or our ‘David McCracken Ministires’ YouTube channel. I pray you are blessed).
But today, I want to mention the greatest way to learn to distinguish the voice of God is to get to know God personally. Make Him your greatest pursuit. Look for Him in His Word. Desire Him above all else. Yearn for Him. Spend time with Him. Talk to Him.
Knowing God better is the best way to hear God more and to distinguish His voice.