Many of us go to church at least once per week to worship God? Praise God that you have found a place to worship Him in a corporate setting, but where do YOU worship God. Friends, as you develop a personal relationship with God, you begin to recognize His awesome power through answered prayer; through Godly direction in your decision making and daily living; through His unending and unhindered love for us, and everything in between! Think about the beauty of everything as you drive to work each morning, such as when you see another sunrise, and the night clouds blowing gently away to reveal the beautiful blue sky for your day; perhaps the wild animals parading around looking for their daily food for the day; perhaps luscious pastureland with dew dropping from the leaves of grass grown by our Father for the cows that will provide milk for our cereal and beef for our steaks and hamburgers. We are so prone to taking these things for granted, but it is at those times that we need to turn the radio off and just thank and praise God for His wonderful touch on everything around us, so that we may be fed, or kept warm, or just to glory in His majesty! What about those times that you walk into a store and see someone struggling to walk, or like in my case yesterday, have a blind person walk in to have lunch across the restaurant where I was at. It is at those times that we worship and give God thanks for blessing us so richly! And please don’t forget to thank God when you see those who may appear to be more blessed than you are. They may have more wealth, but do they enjoy the peace that you do? They may have a whole body, but do they use them for God’s glory like you do? Learn to praise God in all walks of your life friend! God has never made ‘junk’, so you are a blessed creation of His. Worship Him and praise Him for making you in His image – His likeness! He is worthy of your praise friend, not just at those times that the church worship leader may ask you to raise your hands in worship. God is omnipresent – always in your presence. There is no church building that contains God, even though He loves to be in the presence of His believers who worship Him. I believe that a one-on-one worship to our heavenly Father is way more meaningful and appreciated by God than corporate worship that is often driven by leadership and/or peer pressure.
I believe that most Christians will acknowledge that God has been great to us. For we can give examples of times that he has protected us; directed us; healed us; loved us when we have felt very unlovable; provided for us; and yes, died for us so that we might have the hope of eternal life with Him! I’m sure there are lots of other descriptions of how God has blessed us, but friend, we have to be careful of not doing like King Uzziah and allowing these blessings to give us the feeling that the next time we are in need of help, that we can do it ourselves. This king felt so proud of the fame his people convinced him was his, that he felt like he could do anything he pleased – yes even those things that were against God’s will and direction – for he then abused his privileges in the temple. Now a point to be acutely observed is that in spite of all that God had done through this king, and all the ways he had blessed him, yet He (God) treated him like any other subject of His, and punished him for his sin. I believe that a key observation for us in this story, is that we don’t earn a privileged spot in the kingdom because of our successes in our Christian walk. Like King Uzziah, God chose to use one of His instruments through whom He would show His power, so that He might receive glory. Now anytime we interject self in that equation, we not only dishonor God, but we minimize the value of His power though us. Friend, God is not selfishly working through us so that He might gain glory, He primarily works through us so that lost folk may see the need for Him and surrender their lives to Him. Who are we to minimize such an awesome effort by the King of all times, and of our everlasting future? Try praising God for using you, not trying to take any credit for yourself. We can do nothing of eternal value in, and of, our own power, it’s only through Christ that these things can be done.
Often we may feel God’s tug on our heart and strongly discern His will to do something, but of course in all of our wisdom, we may feel that we have the better choice in the whole matter. Friend, as we read God’s Word, and stay closely in tuned with His will and direction for our lives, it is imperative that we remember to whom we belong, and listen to His voice. God loves us and He wants His very best for us, so He will protect us, and see to it that we receive His very best. However in doing this, we may be led in ways that our self-deserving selves may kick and scream because we want to do our own thing, with every possible pleasure included. King Amaziah worshipped idols, (you know, these are things that take priority in our lives – even over our dedication to the Lord’s work! TV programs; sporting activities; our children’s busy lives and programs; work related activities). The king also refused to listen. Now in today’s environment, with all of the technology, and the internet, why would we need to find time to listen to the still small voice of the Master of this universe, when we could Google the master of the internet for every possible answer to our questions? Friend, this may sound farfetched, but don’t fool yourself, think about how real this might be in your life! Do you deliberately consult with God on everything? Would you recognize if He was placing a roadblock in your path? What’s stopping you from being obedient to the Master?
Oh Lord, may I always place my faith in You – even for the things that appear small and insignificant, and especially for the daily things that could very easily affect others. The decisions and sin of King Amaziah cause many people their lives in battle. May I always be obedient to You and Your will for my life, so that I may not be the cause of harm to anyone following after me, or affected by my decisions. Than You Lord, for the leadership role You have in my life!