Saturday, October 14, 2023

But I don't understand

But I don't understand 
by David Brenneman 

Most of us have no idea, other than movies or plays that reenact, what it's like to be in the presence of a King.  We don't know the protocol. We don't know exactly how to behave.

It's just so completely foreign to us.

Look at Nehemiah. He was the King's cup bearer.  Before the King drank anything prepared for him, Nehemiah drank it first. 
This was the King's insurance policy against poisoning.  Pretty much nobody had a higher position in the land with regards to protecting the King.  Yet even he learned quickly how to be and not to be in the presence of the King.  He knew that his every facial expression, his posture, his attitude would be scrutinized after his sample taste.  He certainly was weary of bringing his home life into his workplace.  On one day in particular it was overwhelming.  The probable thing to note in what's read is that Nehemiah hadn't tasted the King's drink yet.  So the King was very astute to note something else was wrong.  

How would you react in front of a true King?  In Scripture, we read that Jesus is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. King of the Jews. Having a reign that will never end.  We in our world today have really no concept of what greeting a King is about. 

So what does it have to do with your going out into your world today?  Well it may not indeed be a King that you will stand before, but we often do tend to run across people of prominence that we read in the Bible are those God put in those positions.  All who are in positions of power are only where they are by the permission of God.  "It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding." Daniel 2:21.

We read in Colossians of how slaves are to be towards masters.  Essentially our relationship between us and our employers.  Sound a bit more relatable?

Two passages in Proverbs are both heavily with me of late.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." and Proverbs 22:29 "Do you see a man skilled at his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before obscure men."

We who are the saved in Christ are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God in Christ Jesus.  We are only under the label of anything else after this. Our positions under our employers are secondary to this.  Who we are in Christ is the most important defining thing about us.  We are not defined by denominations.  Get rid of that thought right now.  We read of Paul telling a church to do that exact same thing.  Nobody was baptized into the name of Paul or of Apollos. Nobody was crucified in the name of anyone but Jesus Christ.  

My lack of understanding by no means means that God isn't working all things together for good. It means that just like Nehemiah, we strive to obey to the best of our ability.  We get knocked down by sin, ask for forgiveness, get back up again.  Press on towards the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  

Do not put your job ahead of God.  No job should be that important. No hobby should be that important. No person should be more important than your relationship with Jesus.  He is your King.  

In the Old Testament we read that the Israelites had no end of idols in their lives.  An idol was, and is, anything that takes the rightful place of God in their, or our, hearts.  The life of the Israelites was about their keeping what was important to Jesus as their highest priority.  Meditating on what was written by God daily.  Keeping the Law of God.  If they would do that, then He would take care of everything else. 

We live in a world that puts significant soft pressure to compromise.  To consider our own understanding first.  To make sense of life first before doing life. We will never see what God has in mind for us if our will is what we're trying to accomplish.  Nehemiah could easily have wanted not to be that guy who finds the poison and said nope, not happening. Get someone else to do that.  He had no understanding of why God would put him in such a position.  Yet he obviously prayed daily about his job.  Never once seeing that it's a fulfillment of Proverbs 22:29...or of Proverbs 3:5-6.

We do not need to know the details of our lives to serve God with all our heart. 

We do not need to be treated fairly to serve God with all our heart. 

We do not need to know how something is going to pan out to serve God with all our heart. 

Pray for your ability to obey. When you understand and when you don't.

Do not shirk your responsibility in Christ.  
Ours is not to reason why.  Ours is to trust and obey.  Who knows who we will stand before in order for the works of God will be manifested?  

Who knows if you will be that simple person who obeys and does what is necessary or says what is needed for that last person who is to be saved is saved and in an instant we find the Rapture of the Church happening?

That's why we don't lean on our own understanding.  Because only Jesus knows what is really needing to be understood.  

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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