Monday, May 17, 2010

'Godliness' gone wrong...where is the heart at?

I got a strong visual once while listening to someone teach about iniquity.  While they likened iniquity to be like a deep root in the sea...I saw a storm over that sea & after it subsided, junk had bubbled up from that 'root' & migrated to the shoreline.  Then the shoreline was raked & all pretty...but then another storm, & up came the junk, only to be raked again, and again.  What needs to happen?  The person that is so talented with that rake needs to go out into the water (or go into the spirit) and get rid of that root.  Of course it's deep and hard to get to...but Jesus is already poised at the root beneath the surface...He's been waiting to see your 'thumb's up' beneath the water. 

This is yet another message about circumcising our hearts, and I'm going to read from first Samuel in a commentary style. The Lord had me pondering over Saul's disobedience one day, so I'll call this:
Saul, 'Godliness' gone wrong...where is the heart at?

In first Samuel 13 we see Saul boasting about defeating an encampment of Philistines, but then the Philistine army was so thick about them that Israelites where hiding all over the countryside & Saul's army was poised in Gigal shaking with fear. Saul was instructed to wait for Samuel's return, a set time of 7 days.

1 Samuel 13

8And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

9And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. (*pay attention here...he's looking at the natural and he's clinging to a ritual, not faith.)

10And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. (*Saul was found disobedient here in the 11th hour...if he just would have held out and trusted he would've been a good & faithful servant...let's read on...)

11And Samuel said, What hast thou done? (*I keep getting a picture of the huge plume of smoke from this sacrificial offering pinpointing & exposing the location of God's army and thinking this is just like how modern day "christians" think they are doing things for the kingdom, but they are really setting up persecution and painting a bad picture for all christians to all the nations that despise us)  And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

12Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.  (*Basically he's expecting the worse & bailing out.  Notice how he's putting this 'godly paste' over the whole situation--you could say a form of 'godliness' but denying the power thereof...)

13And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
(*Ouch!  This all really puts to mind those 'end-time' cheesy've got the girl on the guillotine chopping block and at the last moment she renounces Jesus, because she doesn't want to die...then there's an earthquake & everybody runs away...but there she is, stuck in the guillotine & the latch jiggles & comes off & we know had she just shut her mouth and trusted she would've been in paradise...but she blew it all in the eleventh hour.)

Like I mentioned the iniquity scene earlier...let's go down to first samuel 15 and see what good ole' Saul tries to rake from the beach this time...

1 Samuel 15
*God says...
3Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
*but then we skip down to the the results in vs. 10...

10Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

11It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

13And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. (*here we go applying the 'godly paste again'..)

15And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

20And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

21But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. (*what is this mindset of it's okay to do stuff because it's "for the Lord", when it goes contrary to what the LORD commanded?)

22And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

24And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

25Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

26And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. (*Samuel can see right through Saul's words...he can see his heart.  If we fast-forward, sure, David made tons of mistakes, but God showed us enough in the scriptures to reveal David's repentant heart)

27And as Samuel turned about to go away, he (Saul) laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

28And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou.

35And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

God showed me that we can see in Saul...the called, but in david we see the 'chosen'.

One rakes the beach but the other has surrendered the root.  Both are loved, but to one is disappointment and the other is absolute joy and delight.

One fails in the eleventh hour because the focus is not straight ahead, believing all things and trusting all things.

I encourage you each to examine when the storms come in life...are you seeing a pattern?...are you raking the beach? 

When you are in the winepress or, in the storm, are you spending more time crying out to God, or are you running to other men asking for their prayers or their opinions of what to do?  I encourage you to get out there into the water and go heart to heart with the Lord. 

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