Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Can a person get closer to God and not be blessed?

  I'm reminded of a story in the Bible about the Ark of the Covenant which was God's presence.  King David had planned to move the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.  Jerusalem would have been its rightful place.  In the attempt to move it David didn't follow God's directions in the Law for transporting the Ark. So a man died when he touched the Ark to steady it.  David was extremely discouraged over the incident and left the Ark of the Covenant with the family of Obed-edom for three months.  David eventually properly transported the Ark into Jerusalem amidst much celebration.

But while the Ark of the Covenant was at the home of Obed-edom...stuff happened.  I Chronicles 13: 14 says "...the Lord blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had". Can you imagine?  God blessed this household because His presence came!  Now the Bible doesn't tell us how God blessed Obed-edom's household, but it is clear He did.  Perhaps his crops produced more than ever.  Perhaps the general attitude within the family changed for the better.  I'm not sure but perhaps Obed-edom's marriage took a major turn for the better!  It is possible that the family began to walk in totally good health.  Again, the Bible is clear that God blessed the home of Obed-edom with all that he had because the Ark of the Covenant (God's presence was left there).  God came and things improved!

What a deal!  If you have followed Christ for any length of time, it didn't take you long to learn that just because you follow Christ...it doesn't mean life will be all peaches and cream.  But you do know that the quality of your life took a 180 degree turn for the better!  So much changed in your life...for the better!

With this documented in the Bible doesn't it stand to reason that when we as Christians make an effort to come into His presence things change for the better?  When we welcome His presence into our lives and into our day nothing can remain the same.  Nothing can remain status quo.  I really believe that because I have experienced it over and over.  Too many times we serve Him without having been with Him.  In Acts the apostles were identified as those who had been with Jesus.  Yes, some spent 3 years with Him.  But only a few that the apostles ministered to actually ever saw them with Jesus.  It was the way that talked, their attitudes, their love, and their actions that gave them away.  Because they spent much time in the presence of God, they talked and acted like Him.  No one could deny they were His apostles because they were recognized as having been with Jesus!  What an incredible testimony...to be recognized as one who hangs out with Jesus!  And it can only happen when we make the effort to experience His presence!

So the truth is you cannot make the effort to draw closer to God and not be blessed.  So make the time to spend a good bit of "hang time" with Him.  The fact that He came into your life blessed you, but He doesn't stop there.  Let Him bless you today.  Take the time to welcome His life-changing presence.

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