Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Accepting the Challenge - Day 3

One characteristic that marks the average church today is lack of anticipation. Christians when they meet, do not expect anything unusual to happen; consequently, only the usual happens, and that usual is as predictable as the setting of the sun...
We need today a fresh spirit of anticipation that springs out of the promises of God. We must declare war on the mood of nonexpectation, and come together with childlike faith. Only then can we know again the beauty and wonder of the Lord's presence among us.
-A.W. Tozer

Are you anticipating his Spirit to work in and through your life today? Have you seen the evidence of His Spirit among you in ways you may have missed in the past?
Monday night the elders prayed for a need in our church. I came to the office the next morning and someone stopped me and said, "Can I talk to you about something on my heart?" That "something" was what we prayed for the night before.
Later in the day, I was praying about a particular individual and was perplexed about how I might care for this person in a very difficult situation. In walks a mutual friend who says, "Can I talk to you about a situation?" The "situation" centered around the friend I was praying for and the conversation answered my question.
Those are just 2 examples. And here is the point. Those things happen every day. And yet, most of the time I miss them. It's not that God is not at work. It's just that I am not anticipating it with eyes to see and ears to hear. I am in a hurry and I walk right by. Can you relate?
I pray that today is different for all of us. May we live with anticipation.

Psalm 50
Psalm 50 serves as a good reminder that God does not need our sacrifices and prayer. For He is self sufficient within himself and there is nothing that we could add that would make him more pleased or more content or more satisfied. Instead, the sacrifices and prayers ordained by His law were not for Him but for us. They existed to teach us to honor Him and humble ourselves before His sovereign control. They point to the ultimate sacrifice of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ.
In verse 16 He rebukes the wicked who go through the motions as if to appease God by offering sacrifice and then live life normally within their own desires. God is not treated as an almighty God but as “one of them” who can be calmed down and soothed. Yet, it will not be so since He promises to destroy the wicked in the end. The true test of a genuine sacrifice is one made in thanksgiving, not in petition or placation. Only then is the sacrifice given not expecting something in return but simply giving honor and praise to the only one to which it is due.

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