Destroyed by His Holiness

David was angry because the Lord ’s anger had burst out against Uzzah. He named that place Perez-uzzah (which means “to burst out against Uzzah”), as it is still called today. – 1 Chronicles 13:11

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When God took the life of the man that touched the ark of the covenant, King David immortalized the act by naming the place the place after the event. The Psalms would indicate that David appreciated God’s transcendence, but when God “burst out,” his understanding of God’s holiness reached another level.

Do you have such a place in your life? A place where you were utterly “destroyed” by the holiness of God? God is holy, but much of the time we act as if He … well, isn’t. We seemingly forget that He should be treated with awe, respect, and reverence … at all times and in all circumstances.

Like David and Uzzah, we may often forget that we are always in the presence of God. Then again, it could also be possible that we have never been.

I am ready to meet God face to face tonight and look into those eyes of infinite holiness, for all my sins are covered by the atoning blood. – R. A. Torrey

Where God Lives

I have never lived in a house, from the day I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until this very day. My home has always been a tent, moving from one place to another in a Tabernacle. – 1 Chronicles 17:5

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I have a problem with some of the vocabulary we use in the church today. For example, we often say things like this:

“Welcome to the house of God!”

“I think I’ll go to church this morning.”

“We have a meeting in the sanctuary tonight.”

Here is my problem. God said, “I have never lived in a house.” So, where does God live? He lives in the hearts of His people! The true “House of God” is the hearts of those who belong to Him (not physically, of course, but in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, He invades our lives). We can’t GO to church, because we ARE the church!

Perhaps this is why we think we need new buildings, when what we really need is new hearts.

It was once said that if you took all of the people who fell asleep in church and laid them end-to-end they would be more comfortable. – Anonymous

Nickels, Noses, or …?

But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” – 1 Chronicles 21:24

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I have often written about the Western fascination with numbers. In particular, I believe we like to count things … especially nickels and noses.

But, what does God count? Does He count “nickels?” Well, there are many instances in the Old Testament where it would seem so. Does He count “noses?” Sometimes, as in the first census of Israel, but when King David tried it on his own, he got into big trouble. From this negative experience, David seemed to have learned an important lesson about that which God counts.

While nickels and noses might, at times, be a necessary focus, God is most concerned with the amount of our sacrifice. He really wants to know what we are willing to give “up” and, once given, He will be the judge of how much it truly cost.

Not by gain our life is measured, but by what we’ve lost ’tis scored; ’tis not how much wine is drunken, but how much has been outpoured. For the strength of love never standeth in the sacrifice we bear; he who has the greatest suffering ever has the most to share. – Watchman Nee

THE Critical Leadership Factor

Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours? – 2 Chronicles 1:10

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If God said to you, “Ask. What should I give you?” How do you think you would answer?

The anticipated response to such a question (from God) just might indicate a person’s present and future ability as a leader. You see, most leaders CAN’T handle the responsibility their position demands. All the preparation in the world is is often painfully inadequate for the varied situations or crises a leader may face; therefore, what is the ONE critical factor?

Is it training? Experience? A great team? Certainly, all of these contribute to one’s ability to lead, yet it seems to me that the critical factor in successful leadership is whether or not the leader possesses God’s wisdom. Of course, such a gift is only truly available to those who believe in Christ.

First believe, then lead.

Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps, Too Busy?

The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. – 2 Chronicles 7:2

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I like to be busy. I don’t even mind having a lot of responsibilities. I enjoy (most of the time) serving the Lord, but is it possible for my service to become a sinful thing? When the visible presence of God (the cloud) entered into the newly constructed Temple in Jerusalem, the priests could not enter there and serve. It seems that the presence of God prohibited their activities.

Sometimes, in the service of God … in the activity of ministry …, we may need to STOP “doing” and recognize His presence. Otherwise, we risk the possibility that our service will become a ritual (mindless, spiritless activity) that is lacking true worship that the Lord requires. In fact, if we remain focused on His presence, then our service may actually cease … necessarily, while we are immersed in His all-encompassing glory.

Where is God in your service and is your “service” found in Him?

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

The Wisdom of Wise Counsel

But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. – 2 Chronicles 10:8

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I have often stressed the necessity of God’s wisdom as a factor in a leader’s success, but there is another thing a successful leader must also possess. In most cases, the conduit for God’s wisdom is the counsel of godly colleagues or friends. Every leader needs good, wise counsel AND that counsel can only come from those who know the TRUTH; therefore, a wise leader will surround himself with men and women who are willing to speak the truth even when it is difficult to do so.

The best counsel a person can give is both timely and honest. It is also the wisdom of God. Leader, surround yourself with people who KNOW the truth, LIVE the truth, and are willing to SHARE the truth. If you do, then you will most likely achieve the success that God desires.

No mind, no wisdom … temporary mind, temporary wisdom … eternal mind, eternal wisdom. – Adoniram Judson

Unto the End

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war. – 2 Chronicles 16:9

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For most of his life, Asa (king of Judah) served God, but his last six years were a dismal failure. It seems that Asa stopped paying attention to his Creator and began to trust in himself. Even when he became deathly ill, the king refused to cry out to God and instead reached out to some pagan faith-healers.

The Christian life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. A race that will not end until this earthly life is over. Will we be faithful unto the end? Someone once told me that I would never be too old to throw it all away.

Be alert. Be accountable. Be faithful … unto the end.

By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity. – Augustine