Every once in awhile you will hear about a train that derailed and got off track from the original course. It doesn't happen often, thankfully, but it's bad news when it does. The Lord had given the priests their direct orders through the law and they were disobedient, leading the people incorrectly, representing God in the worst way. If they had done what the Lord had told them, the people would've followed their lead for the good and would've been blessed. God repeatedly called them to return and repent. Getting off course when you have a track to guide you means there is a miscue or a command that isn't respected. Obedience is forgotten. Living It Out: Make sure those you follow are leading you correctly by Godly example or you will be swayed by their path of derailment. The tribe of Levi had been set apart as priests but they departed from doing what wasright and caused the people to stumble. These "men of God" were derailed in the name of religion and weren't showing the people the right image of God's Law. God had given them His requirement earlier in Leviticus but they didn't heed the command.
Leviticus 21:7 and 8
".....because priests are holy to their God. Regard them as holy because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the Lord am holy-I who make you holy."
Living It Out: Apart from Him we can do nothing. Only the Holy Spirit can change us and make us holy.
Derailment is easy because distractions and things of the world look so enticing and are at our disposal, here and now. As Christians, we are to live for eternity and what is to come, a better world.
Living It Out: All of us can stumble at any time. Work at staying strong so you don't lose the eternal battle for the temporary pleasures of this life. The Israelites and others that have gone before us serve as an example. Some of our biggest obstacles are lies straight from Satan who wants to derail us.
1 Peter 5:8 and 9
"Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith"....
After the postings on blemished sacrifices and spiritual compromise (I could've written many more), I was thinking I wanted to write something lighter when, last night, my dream seemed to have the answer!
In the dream my youngest son, Aaron, who is now 21, is 4 or 5. While I'm laying on the bed, he comes in to talk to me and informs me that for Christmas the family doesn't know what to give me so they have decided they are going to give me a plated Derek Jeter footprint! Now, I come from a house of men who are all into sports and though I have received a couple of gifts that weren't top on my list, I gotta say this one kind of blew me away and NOT for the better!
I wish in this dream I was composed when I answered my son, but, unfortunately, the response was pretty true to my nature. The conversation went something like this:
Me, aghast with horror, "What do you mean a footprint of Derek Jeter"? My attitude was totally less than grateful!
Aaron replies calmly, "Mom, that's no way to react. It's a sacrificial gift and we have done our best!
I woke laughing thinking about God meeting my need for some humor but still weaving the concepts of Malachi within my night thoughts. I was reminded about the Israelites wanting more when they went back into Judah and my hope for more than a plated Derek Jeter footprint for Christmas. I was also reminded that in all things it's about the sacrifice of the heart.
For the record, my family isn't a fan of Derek Jeter so I'm really praying this will never come to pass!
Living It Out: If your family decides to give you a plated Derek Jeter footprint for Christmas, don't react as though it's a blemished sacrifice!
"Worship as adoration of God is a distinctive activity; it embraces both understanding and emotions, the whole person in the presence of the God of creation and redemption. ...Even so, this does not mean turning away from the world. It involves, rather, the right perception of how God relates to the world, and the world to God. In such a framework, worship, embracing both adoration and action, is nothing but the outworking of God centeredness in the individual and corporate experience of the people of God." ~D.A.Carson
"In light of moldybologna and brown bananas the priests were offering up in the temple, they didn't have any enthusiasm for their jobs either. Instead of happily frying up the fattest chickens in the churchyard for God, they were throwing greasy nuggets into paper bags and shoving them across the counter, not even looking up to acknowledge the King they were serving." ~Lisa Harper Malachi, A Love That Never Lets Go Living It Out: Watch what you are serving the King.
Pollution is the introduction of a contaminant, something defiled and compromised. It could be anything from noise pollution to air pollution to water pollution and more. But today as I read the scripture and pondered how to blog "Living It Out", I am challenged not by the contamination of the environment but measuring to see if I have any spiritual compromise.
In Malachi 1:6 and 7 the Lord is explaining to the priests in Israel that they have despised or shown contempt for the name of the Lord. Yes, that's right, it was the priests! They replied by asking the Lord, "How"? "How have we shown contempt for your name?"
He told them because you have placed "polluted food, defiled food" on the altar. The priests were responsible for offerings that had no defect, the offerings were to be without blemish. They were giving God less than perfect sacrifices.
It's crazy to think we want God to give us HIS best, HIS blessing to us, yet, we offer Him a blemished offering of ourselves.
At least, I know I don't always give Him the best of me.
You might ask how? By not putting Him first, by not placing my all on the altar. Do I want Him more than anything in this world? Do I desire to know Him above all else?
Romans 12:1 from the message Bible says it best:
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering."
Living It Out: Let us ask the Lord to check for Spiritual Compromise within our lives or any area of a blemished sacrifice. And then, place our lives daily before Him as an offering, even in the everyday, ordinary life.
As parents, we expect obedience and respect from our children, after all, look what we've done for them! We say, even if only to ourselves, we've given you shelter, fed you, raised you for all these years and you owe it to us to show honor. How easily our defenses become more about us than having the attitude of Christ and showing our children the character of God.
God is so gracious to not have that same mindset with us when we do not show Him the honor and respect He more than deserves.
Malachi 1:6, "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a master, where is the respect due me?, says the Lord Almighty."
Curly girl question today for "Living It Out"....
Do I give you the Lord the same respect and honor I expect from my children? Others? How much greater it should be than even that! Great is the Lord and worthy to be praised! Selah
I'm just a curly haired girl in love with Jesus learning by His grace to walk out being a Christ Follower. I love studying the Word and writing about it. Jesus is the only thing that makes sense in this crazy mixed up world and I want to know all I can about Him!