So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 9:2-3
The Lord truly spoke to my heart yesterday, essentially saying to me, “I can see into the future and beyond. That thing you are concerned with is done.”
The peace that came over me was magnificent. The particular thing that concerned me was not huge at all (quite trivial in actuality), but His words gave me the assurance that He has already viewed everything that’s going to happen (or not happen) to me in this life. My Father is positioned over me like the Good Year Blimp is above the Rose Bowl Parade. From my venue I only see what is in front of me with limited peripheral vision, but He sees the splendor of what’s to come and knows exactly where the entire procession is going to end up.
Yesterday’s encounter reminded me how easy it is to focus on a task or a problem rather then Jesus. The fact of the matter is that when we lose focus on Christ, the thing we’re focusing on becomes darkness—even if that thing is a God-given ministry or a mission. My assignment is to merely present myself to Him each day as an empty and willing vessel trusting that the real work to be done is His work. I am a hammer that needs to be in the Master’s tool box each morning not because He needs me, but because I need Him. If I’m not there God will use another instrument and as a result I will become dirty and rusty. Daily usage keeps a Christian clean.
This was in a sense Samuel’s message to Israel in the passage above. Their focus was everywhere but on God and as a result they were fearful of things not worthy of fear. The admonition Samuel gave to Israel then is appropriate for us today. Let us not focus on the problem, but on the problem solver; let us not curse the darkness, but turn on the Light.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. Psalm 34:8-22