Time is a precious thing we do not have much of. In this day, we have slowly diminishing opportunity to do the will of God. As such, in order for us to continue to be obedient to God, it is crucial we position ourselves to understand Him. The book of Ecclesiastes explains that the whole duty of man is not only to worship God, but in a manner God has set out. If we don’t, we run the risk of merely acting as christians without an actual connection with God. Remember, the bible warns against calling on Christ with ones mouth, yet harbour a heart distant to Him (Isaiah 29:13). Do not be fooled, without a connection, God will not acknowledge us as His own.
As Christians we need to be biblical, which means that we should believe and understand that the bible relates to us on a personal level in a prophetic and spiritual way. The word of God is pure and final, yet we have a tendency of neutralising the word with our actions. We often mix the word of God with our own thoughts of what we think He wants. In order to worship God as He desires, we are required to develop a level of understanding of Him first. If we gain an understanding of His expectations of us, it will enable us to do as He truly wishes. Today, there are so many things that perhaps have become a “god” in our lives. For some its money, for others it’s their jobs. But what we need to put as priority is God. We need to demonstrate our loyalty in such a way it’s clear that God takes precedence in our lives. It’s not enough to routinely attend church or merely pray daily but rather striving to know who God truly is on a personal basis. It’s about fully understanding the nature of God otherwise surely our worship will be rendered meaningless.
Isaiah 1:2-3, 18-20
In our scripture today, we see God’s anguish over His people. He compares His people with domesticated animal’s. That even such know their master, yet His chosen people, whom He has loved and demonstrated His power still do not recognise the care that He has given them. Do you recognise God in your life? Do you know and understand Him? It is a deliberate and personal decision one must take to grow closer in understanding God. It is an individual declaration to serve God as seen in Joshua 24:15. We know that despite the Israelites idolatry worship, God still fulfiled His promise and delivered the people to the Promised Land. But there comes a time where God confronts us with the same ultimatum to serve Him alone. You see, we might be here today by His grace, but it does not mean that we are deserving. God is urging us to rid ourself of everything that distracts from Him.
God needs you to move from where you are now, so that He can work with you at the place He wants you to be. Have the faith to take that initial step and respond to God’s instruction upon your life. Look at Abraham. This man received a message to move from where he was to a place God would show him. This was a spiritual instruction. It is then fulfilled in the natural when Abraham was obedient. Most people today fail because they can’t comprehend what is being said in spirit and in turn do not obey in the natural. We have to believe and understand what is said in spirit for it to manifest in the physical. If Abraham had not moved, then his blessing would not have materialised.
“The Cattle know their owner, the donkies know where they are fed, but Gods people do not know their God.” As we start the year, examine yourself. Do we know where you can get spiritual strength and nourishment ? If we know God then we can comply with what He says. Today people have a tendency to minimise the value and importance of God. We want to worship in the way we want. Have you ever taken time to examine peoples attitudes towards their employment? Everyone tries to comply with all rules and regulations of the workplace so as not to lose their job. Yet, the same drive to comply with the workplace etiquette is not seen when it comes to matters concerning God. We adopt a casual approach to our worship and even feel comfortable coming to church late. All we value is the act of going to church but we do not follow what God says. We do not take heed of the sayings of the Holy spirit. Many are stumbling due to church cultures rather than striving to know God. The word of God is pure and final, yet we neutralise His word. What God has outlined as important is not viewed in the same light and likewise ignored as well. That’s why it has no power over us. People often think that they can just worship God any which way. But the bible clearly states that He is to be worshipped in the way He outlines. Let us look at the Israelites as an example. God fulfilled what had been promised onto them, even though they violated His nature and holiness by behaving contrary to His will. The Israelites had a history of idolatry which led to the ultimatum they received from Joshua as seen in Joshua 24. You see, by keeping idols amongst their possessions, it was as though they believed such idols would help them in some way. This ultimately undermined God’s power yet it was the very same God that had delivered them through the ages. It can be assumed that after they had spent so much time under God’s protection and following His instructions as they were led to the Promised Land, they would have developed a good understanding of the way God wanted to be worshipped. Yet we see time and time again that they were told they needed to repent. One example comes to mind. We know Joshua to be prayerful man before God and no man could stand against him. Now when it came to the time the children of God defiled God, the same Joshua was defeated in battle. Was this not the same army that God had used to destroy nations. Yes, however, this shows how a powerful man can become powerless due to the sin of the people. It is important to understand God so we do not cause Him to turn away from us. Do we know that He has to be worshipped in a certain way? Do you know that His holiness needs to be maintained? You need to understand that God is the creator of heaven and earth and He is the one that knows the plan for your life, as such, He is the owner of your life. You need to realise that you cannot achieve things in life if you do not have your health, nor the breath you breathe, which all come from God. Therefore, you need to be loyal to Him and make Him your top priority. In seeking him first, all else shall follow in your life (Matthew 6:33), for He alone is God. Even when you encounter a challenging situation, believe and understand that God is and will continue to be faithful to you. Because if He has taken you out of a challenging situation before, He can certainly do it again. Remember Psalms 23:4 and rid yourself of doubt. Trust God because strength and power can be found in Him. Some people become lost because they are unable to comprehend the supernatural aspect of what God is saying. As such, understand the nature of God as a supernatural God. He is supreme so what He says is possible. Therefore, you need to stay in step with the Spirit. Part of God’s impact in your life is reliant on you being actively involved in the process. Worshipping God is not a passive act but it requires intentional actions on your part.
Though we have a multitude of shortcomings, we see in Isaiah 18 -20 God still extends an opportunity for us to return to Him. God speaks about us reconnecting with Him if we choose to obey His ways. He is always standing with open arms for us to turn back to him. Understanding God’s nature helps us to know what and what not to do. God was the God of Israel, but he turned his back at some point. We can continuosly pray but what’s important is not that we pray, but whether that prayer is being received by God. The first miracle is to believe in the scriptures. And more can happen through our ability and understanding of it. God is not someone we can address anyhow, but must be revered and obeyed. Know where your life comes from. Know who feeds your spirit. As we start this year, let us build a solid foundation in Christ.