1 Chronicles 17:1-4
And it came about, when David dwelt in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, "Behold, I am dwelling in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under curtains." Then Nathan said to David, "Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you." It came about the same night that the word of God came to Nathan, saying, "Go and tell David My servant, 'Thus says the LORD, "You shall not build a house for Me to dwell in."
How do I separate my "impulse" from God's will? The verse above teaches that the presence of God is not the same as the approval of God.
All my ideas seem good at night when they pop into my head, but carefully judge each idea over time. Many ideas don't look so good in the morning. Wait.
Wait in God's Word. All ideas do not pass the Word of God test. While you wait, test your idea in the Word of God. In the present day, the Word of God is complete. God's finished Word has "all things necessary for life and godliness." That means that Nathan won't appear in your bedroom at night to let you know what God says. Ask God to give you wisdom from His Word to judge the value of your idea. If you are equally open to "NO" from God as well as "YES," God will guide you. If you search the Bible to confirm your own plan, God may not guide you. He will let you have your own way.
All my ideas at night are brilliant until I open the Bible in the morning. Then most of my ideas aren't so bright. They are outshined by the Word of God. This is good. I would rather have one of God's thoughts than a thousand of my own ideas.
Because you did not carry it [the ark of God] at the first,
1 Chronicles 15:13
Before I was saved I called on God, "God, if you're real you've got to do something for me!" God did not have to do something for me. I was not his child. I did not even come to him in the name of Christ. However, God is gracious, and He did do something for me.
Now that I am saved, I know that God has ordinances or rules that teach me, his child, how to seek Him. I am responsible to seek God according to the teaching of the Word of God.
Years earlier the Philistines took the ark of God from Israel and after seven months they sought God (They cried to God and asked their priests.) to return the ark. Without any understanding of the Bible they loaded the ark of God on a new cart and sent it back to Israel. They did not seek God according to the ordinance because they did not know God or His Word. God did not judge them for their improper approach. In fact He honored seeking by accepting the ark from their hand with a demonstration of His presence.
Years later when Israel moved the ark, Israel did not search the Word. They imitated the Philistines, and loaded God's ark on an ox cart. God struck a man dead for dishonoring God. The ordinances of God were very clear. The ark was to carried on the shoulders of Israel's priests. The Philistines were not responsible to God in His ordinances but Israel was responsible to God's ordinances.
You could say it is easier for an unbibled, ungodly sinner to approach God than for a child of God. The sinner has no rules, but a child of God has all the rules of God's house to instruct him as he seeks God. If you are a child of God through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has a law for you, the Law of Christ. You are responsible to learn the Law of Christ and obey it. Freedom in Christ is not the freedom to do whatever you like, but freedom to obey God.
The incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus has changed the relationship of the people of God to God.
Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, because the oxen nearly upset it. The anger of the LORD burned against Uzza, so He struck him down because he reached out his hand to the ark; and he died there before God.
1 Chronicles 13:9-10
Then he said to Thomas, “Reach here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
We have a song that says, "He touched me."
We need a song that says, "I touched Him."
Shackled by a heavy burden,
'Neath a load of guilt and shame.
Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
And now I am no longer the same.
He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole.
Throughout history, God has touched the lives of people; but now for the first time in the history of mankind, God invites His own people to touch Him. Do not come short of the grace of God! Come boldly to the Lord Jesus and touch Him.
There are two ways to cross the flooding River!
Joshua 3:13 In the Days of Joshua and Moses God dries flooded rivers.
It shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above will stand in one heap.
In the days of Joshua the nation waited for God to stop the waters then they crossed to attack their enemy.
1 Chronicles 12:14-15 In the Days of David, God's people swim.
These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army; he who was least was equal to a hundred and the greatest to a thousand. These are the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks and they put to flight all those in the valleys, both to the east and to the west.
In the days of David, the sons of Gad waited for nothing. They threw themselves into death and crossed an army through the flood to attack their enemy.
Both groups crossed the Jordan when it was overflowing its banks. Both groups surprised the enemy and won a war by God's help. Someone in Gad may have said, "If God wants us over the Jordan, He can part the river, like He did for Joshua!" But others must have concluded, "If God wants us over the Jordan, we will not die as we attempt to cross it!"
May God give us men like Gad today! Men who by faith give up their lives to go forward for God. There are men today who are paralyzed by history. Because of fear they say, "This is how God always made his people cross rivers. He must dry the river before I will put my toe in it!" The lesson of the Red Sea and the lesson of Joshua's Jordan was not to teach God's people how God wants His people to cross rivers. The lesson was to teach Israel that God was with them to do whatever He wished them to do. The men of Gad understood that God was with them when they entered the Jordan. If He wished to part the river, that was God's choice. If He wanted them to swim, that was God's choice. If He decided they would die, that was God's choice. The men of Gad counted on the presence of God and stepped (or swam) forward for God.
For heaven's sakes! Go get your feet wet!
God makes a list of each person who serves Him.
David made a list of his mighty men. Some of these men we know from the Bible, and some we only know their names from this list.
1 Chronicles 11:11
These are on the list of the mighty men whom David had… (a list of 30 men follows)
Today, God is making a list of those who patiently serve him and look for the return of the Lord Jesus. We do not know the names on the list, but if we patiently serve Him, and wait for His Son from heaven; our name will be on that list.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; AND NOT ONLY TO ME, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
It is just like David's list only a million times better!!
2 Kings 25:27-30
…Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes and had his meals in the king's presence regularly all the days of his life; and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life.
All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes.
God is able to change us. God can remove a man from prison, and he can restore the riches of a poor man. God wants to change sinners and release them from the trap of sin and set them free. He wants to change their clothes and feed them at His table.
If you are in the prison of sin, come to Jesus. He will free you. If you are a child of God, wait. Every child of God will be changed. One day our Lord will appear from heaven, and the sons of God will be changed forever. It may be today.
After David, Josiah is the best king!
2 Kings 22:2
He did right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.
2 Kings 22:19-20
Because your heart was tender… your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.
2 Kings 23:25
Before him [Josiah] there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.
What would you do if you were Josiah? Josiah began life with a tender heart for God. He obeyed God and worked for God. God told good king Josiah that all his work for God would not change his nation. I am amazed that even though he knew all his work would be lost, he still obeyed God. He did not harden his heart.
Josiah is an example of a godly man living in the last days. He did not give up or lose heart. He trusted God to do what was right for him. He knew that no matter what everyone else did, he must follow the Lord and live his life for God. He kept his eye on God and God's word and he did not turn to the left or right. He did not live his life for results; he lived his life to please God.
And that is how you have to live in the last days. Live for God.
The people of God stopped reading their Bible, because they did not want God to tell them how to live their lives. So God took the Bible away from them. He let them live life without His word. They were unhappy, and they did not know why.
2 Kings 22:8 The Book is Found.
I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.
During a construction project in the house of God, the lost Bible was found!
2 Kings 22:13 The King Begins to Listen.
…Our fathers have not listened to the words of this book,
to do according to all that is written concerning us.
A king with a tender heart heard the Bible for the first time. Hearing the word of God turned his heart to God and put a fear of sin in him. He was surprised that his nation had stopped listening to the Bible and had stopped obeying God's Word. He learned that their life was defeated, hard, and sad because they were ignoring God's Word.
2 Peter 1:3-4 Why is Everything Not Enough?
His divine power has given to us everything related to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has given to us His precious and magnificent [Bible] promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Don't lose the Book! Many Christians live a hard, sad, defeated life. I ask them, "Are you reading your Bible from cover to cover?" They say, "No." They want someone to help them, but I say, "God has already helped you, but you have refused Him."
Maybe God's help for these sad people is in Obadiah or Zephaniah or Genesis; but they will never know, because they are not listening. They ask for a Christian Counselor or Psychologist who will make them feel good. But God does not want you to feel good when you ignore His word. He wants you to feel bad until you listen and obey the Bible. Bad feelings are like an alarm. They let us know we broke our arm, or when we are getting too close to a fire, or we are ignoring God. If you fix your arm, your bad feeling will stop! Turn to the Bible, obey it, and the bad feelings will go away.
The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.
For me to live is Christ.