Read The Bible: I Samuel 4-6 and Luke 9:1-17
I Samuel 4-6
God is holy and He is mighty! That’s what you have to take away from these chapters. We already knew that Eli’s sons were violating God’s temple, and that Eli was not doing anything about it. And we know that he had fair warning.
God’s presence in His ark is holy, and as such will not be toyed with by the likes of Eli’s sons. So the sin in the lives of the leaders caused the Israelites to lose to the Philistines.
Jubilant, the Philistines take the ark, but they too are in for a big surprise – as their god, Dagon, not only falls over, but is broken into pieces in the presence of the holy ark. So they get it out of there as soon as possible.
There are many in today’s society, even some in the church, who don’t recognize God’s power. Even if they agree that He demonstrated it at one time,they think that He doesn’t demonstrate it now. But those people are wrong.
For those who will pray and seek their Father’s face, there are great times ahead. Times of refreshing by His Holy Spirit – and times of seeing His hand.
In the early 1700’s and again around 1800 there were some tremendous “awakenings” in America.
The latter of these was even more significant than the first, because it came to a territory, Kentucky, where the settlers were largely outlaws, swindlers, drunkards, brawlers, and just generally rough characters. Most had no religious history at all.
However, after much prayer and listening to God, a few ministers decided to hold a camp meeting in the fields of two of the roughest counties. As many as 25,000 or 30,000 people brought their wagons, food, and families to hear the preachers, and the outcome was incredible. Many turned their lives to God, and became followers of Jesus.
Doubting theologians came from Virginia to discredit the stories which were coming back to them. Were they ever surprised! They found the salvations to be even more numerous than had been reported.
Letters back to headquarters proclaimed that the total complexion of the Kentucky territory had been altered. “Never had they seen such a moral community.”
Only God’s presence and His power can bring such drastic change – a change which has caused historians to call this the “second great awakening” in America.
The fruit of this mighty demonstration of God’s power was that many ministers were called during this event and the Christian heritage of America was saved from extinction. The preachers went into all the frontier territories, ministering, and bringing many to the Lord.
I love to see God at work!
The twelve go out with delegated authority, proclaiming the Kingdom of God. That’s what Jesus preached about and demonstrated during his ministry.
So what does this Kingdom entail?
I think of it as a parallel universe. The very atmosphere of Heaven which is with us on earth, if we are willing to partake of it.
It’s right here with us, but so is the natural world. There are two kingdoms: the kingdom of men and the Kingdom of God.
In the kingdom of men, there is worry, confusion, striving, and emptiness. In the Kingdom of God there is peace, wisdom, fruitful labor, and joy.
There is also healing, God’s forgiving power, and the ability to hear His voice and walk with Him.
Today, we are called to be carriers of that Kingdom everywhere we go. He has called us, chosen us, and anointed us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Are you doing that? I am eager to do it more than ever!