The Place of Rest

September 29, 2014

1 Samuel 13:5-10
The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings. ” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

The Place of Rest

This passage about Saul really speaks to the times of the testing of our faith that God brings us to in our lives. One of the most difficult concepts for us to learn and submit to is the “Rest of God”. We know we have God’s word and promises, but like Saul when fear is all around us and the situation is critical it is very hard for us not to get anxious and impatient.
Samuel was the prophet and priest of God to offer up the burnt offering. He is spirit man of intercession who spiritually prepared the troops for battle. What we have here is a type of the body in the fearful and restless soldiers of Israel. The souls typified by King Saul and the man of the spirit is exemplified by Samuel. How many of us have ever been in situations where we were trying to wait on God, but the situation was getting critical and God was running late? In fact, we began to wonder if He was even going to show up at all. It says of Saul, ” He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.” Now there is an appointed time for the man of God, the spirit man, to show up, but God seems to often wait until that last hour before He reveals Himself. It is in the those last hours that our circumstances seem to be falling down all around and all hell is breaking out around us that we begin to get out of faith and into doubt, fear and unbelief. The soul starts succumbing to the same anxiousness that our body has been feeling for some time now. When we are in faith, trusting in God’s Word, we are in a position of REST. Quite honestly, in the natural Saul didn’t have much of a chance to win this battle against the odds of the Philistines in the natural. His only real hope of winning was to maintain his position of Rest in God. As so often can happen with us, we grow impatient with God, assuming He is not going to show up, so we take matters into our own hands. We do our homage by saying, “God bless the works of my hands,” and then we go about doing what we were going to do. When we make that decision, we just missed a crucial time in our obedience and position in the Spirit. We just set stepped out of our position of the Rest of God and into reacting to the circumstances, motivated by our fear and unbelief that God was not going to move on our behalf.
Seven days Saul was appointed to wait. Seven is God’s number. It is the number of His Rest, even as the scriptures say in Genesis, “so on the seventh day God rested from all His work.” We are now standing in the seventh day, the day of the Lord. The enemies gathered before us are vast in number. Outwardly we want to fear and quake, but inwardly in our heart and soul, we had better know that there is no victory outside of the Rest of God. Only in Him, in His timing and in His way are we going to be able to triumph over our enemies. The old religious way of doing it our way in the name of God isn’t going to work anymore. God is removing His Kingdom from the religious man’s hands and placing it into the hand of the ones who know how to wait. They know that there victory is not in getting in a hurry to confront the enemy, but it is in entering into the praise, worship and Rest of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The battle and the victory must first be won inwardly, before it can manifest outwardly.
Saul lost his position that day, because he yielded to his anxious heart and his fearful body. He moved out of the position of Rest and disqualified himself from the kingdom purpose for which he was called. Many of us are finding ourselves in hard positions today. Everything around is screaming, “you got to do something.” The something we have to do is to Rest and wait upon the Lord. We don’t want to dare move outside His Spirit’s leading and His timing. God’s time isn’t our time, but our time must become His time. That is the place of Rest and victory.
We would close with this appropriate exhortation from Hebrews 4:1-11. “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

Blessings,
#kent

1 Samuel 3:1-14

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel. 

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” 

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 

6 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” 

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 

8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” 

Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 

10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” 

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 

11 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ” 


Hearing, Listening and Responding


Today, as in the days of Samuel, the Lord is teaching His anointed to once again hear and discern the voice of the Lord.   The Lord is here to reveal Himself to us and through us in word and in power.  Often we can miss the voice of God to us because the intents of our flesh are so loud that they make us dull in our hearing.  Our hearing is increased as we listen and obey.  Our quick obedience and responsiveness to God’s word to us increases our sensitivity to hear Him and to know His ways.  The Lord is not someone we rush.  He doesn’t operate on our timetable; He operates upon His.  It is not for God to wait upon us; it is for us to wait upon Him.  If we are too busy and occupied to wait, then it is likely we won’t hear a lot from the Lord.  

One of the first principles that Samuel learned when he discerned from Eli that He was hearing the voice of God was to make Himself available.    When Samuel finally discerned the Lord’s voice Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  Do we know God’s voice when He is trying to speak to us?   Do we make ourselves available to listen and obey?   Sometimes the word that God gives us is a weighty word.  It can have serious implications toward the ones that it is directed toward.

We are not responsible for the words, other than to accurately communicate them the way that God gives them to us, but we are responsible to be available and obedient to what He does speak and direct us to do.  Samuel was reluctant to speak the word of judgement to Eli and his household that the Lord had given him, but he was obligated to do so.  When we become God’s mouth piece and His instrument, then it is not about what we say, or what we think, it is about being true to the sound that God is blowing through your instrument in whatever capacity that is. The soul must step down and give place to the spirit man to release and obey the Spirit within Him.  

Most all of us that have been in the church world for sometime have often seen a mixture of flesh and Spirit in operation.  What we have observed to a great extent has been a polluted anointing.  Whenever our flesh is mixed with Spirit it taints it.  

God wants to do something, in this hour, through each one of us.  He is looking for holy vessels that will be true to His Spirit.  He is looking for a people that have His interest at heart and not their own.  Before God can release through us the fullness of His power and anointing there must be first developed within us the character that is in the likeness of His own.  If our character isn’t true to the Lord then what He would attempt to produce through us will fall to the earth.  There are small things in our integrity and character that God wants us to start paying attention too. We have all justified a lot of things.  We all have our little indiscretion, little lies or dishonesties, but God is calling us now to integrity and accountability to Him.  He has a holy calling before us and it will take a holy character to walk in that calling.  Begin to be extremely sensitive to the voice of the Spirit and conscience in your daily lives.  Become much more disciplined in your listening and responsiveness to the Holy Spirit.  He can lead us into all truth, but only we can be willing to partake of it.  

The Lord will begin speaking to us more and more in that still small voice of His Spirit.   We, like Samuel, must learn to discern that voice and respond in obedience to it in every area of our lives.  God is purposing great things through His people, but He is looking for a church without spot or wrinkle.  That means that He must wash us and with His fuller’s soap and press us with His refiner’s fire till we come forth purified for His purpose and His calling.  Listen for Him, trust Him and obey Him. 

 

Blessings,

kent

Our Priestly Calling

December 30, 2013

Our Priestly Calling


1 Samuel 2:21-24

And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD. Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for [it is] no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress. 


In the days of young Samuel the prophet we read of the priest who raised him up in the house of the Lord named Eli.  We read also of the corruption that was in the priesthood through his sons Hophni and Phinehas.  1 Samuel 2:12 says, “Now the sons of Eli [were] sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.”  Belial means worthlessness, good for nothing, unprofitable, wicked, ruin and destruction.   The Word indicates these were very base fellows abusing and misusing their office as priests, along with the offerings, sacrifices and the people.  1 Samuel 2: 17-18 tells us, “Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, [being] a child, girded with a linen ephod.” One more account in 1 Samuel 2:22-26, we hear the words of Eli denouncing their behavior.  “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for [it is] no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.”  It is interesting that at each juncture where we read about the wickedness of Eli’s sons, we read about the spiritual growth and stature of little Samuel.  Samuel was growing up to be the anti-type of Eli’s wicked sons.  Even though he grew up in a household of evil practices and wickedness, Samuel chose righteousness, fear of the Lord and fellowship with the Almighty. 

What is the practical application to us in our relationship with the Lord today?  We see Jesus, somewhat like the type of Samuel growing in the office of a priest, but not of the same order as the natural priesthood which had become corrupt and even anti-christ  in nature.  Hebrews 7:26-28 tells us, speaking of Jesus, “26Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Revelations 1:10, 5:6 and 20:6 all talk about the saints and how we are the kings and priests of God.  1 Peter 2:9 declares, “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”  The lesson here is that we are now God’s priesthood.  Do you ever think of yourself as a priest; a representative, ambassador, and officer of His Holiness?  What manner of priests are we in our walk and ministry toward the Lord?  Do we honor and reverence the holy office that God has set us in or are we more like Hophni and Phinehas?  God is raising up the little Samuels of this generation who will minister and walk before Him in righteousness and truth.  We do not want to be a part of the corruption of the former house that uses religion for gain and is a stumbling block to others.  We are exhorted to “abstain against fleshly lust that war against the soul.”  We must learn by God’s grace and strength to live and operate in the calling and office of our priesthood toward God, honoring Him with our lives, our obedience and our sacrificial living and giving.  We are a priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, called forth out of darkness into His marvelous light to manifest the qualities and attributes of our High Priest and King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Blessings,

kent

Consecrated Son

July 23, 2013

Consecrated Son

1Samuel 1:9-11
So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD And she [was] in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

Most of us know the account of Hannah and how she cried out in her bareness for a man-child. We know that Eli spoke a prophetic word to her, she conceived and gave birth to a child she called Samuel, who was a wonderful prophet and man of God. The only thing is that as Hannah had vowed, when the child was weaned she would come and present him to the Lord. The child was consecrated unto the Lord according to her promise. She had to fully relinquish the normal routines of a mother raising a child. The priesthood raised him and she only had visitation rights.
John 1:12 tells us,”But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:” When we come to Christ there is a spiritual dedication and consecration that takes place within us. Our soul, through its vow to Christ, dedicates the spiritual child within that is birthed to God. Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3:5-7, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Most of us who are Christians are very aware of our new birth, or born again experience. We understand the concept of that new creature which we now are and still are becoming, is the product, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. We should understand, like Hannah, that this spiritual seed, which is the product of the faith in our soul uniting with the promise of the Spirit of God, has produced a spiritual man-child within us. Our body is the tabernacle of this holy seed of God. What we often forget is that this child doesn’t belong to the soul. It belongs to the Spirit. We gave up our rights and dictates to it when we received Christ. As such we must remember and honor our vow that we are no longer our own. We belong wholly to the Lord. For many of us, even though we have been spiritually birthed, we have never been really separated unto the Lord. We are still being raised by our soul. The result is that our spirit man reflects the soulish woman rather than the godly man after the image of the Father. Who is raising your spirit man, your man-child that resides within? Is he becoming just an extension of your soul, of your mind, will and emotions? Or has he been truly consecrated and given to God? Is he being raised in the discipline of the Word of God and godly correction? Is he learning to truly bear the nature of the heavenly rather the earthly? Roman 12:1-2 exhorts us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” God has answered the cry of our soul to birth a part of Himself in us. We are exhorted to keep our vow and commitment to now let that spiritual man within us grow up in obedience and consecration to the Father and the instruction of His Word. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a mentor, a spiritual governor, advisor, helper, comforter and instructor to help us grow up into the priesthood of God. We are men and women of God. We are not ordinary and common people of the world. We have been consecrated and set apart unto God, for His glory and for His purpose. We must, as Samuel did, grow up into our calling and relationship with our Father. We are purposed and destined of God. We are not our own, we were purchased with a price. Has our soul relinquished the man-child we are and the destiny we have before us to be conformed into the likeness of the Son of God? If not, perhaps it is time we make good on our vow. What we give up in the natural, can in no way compare to what we gain in the Spirit. Let’s make sure we have been truly consecrated and released to God.
The soul or the mother is the vehicle to produce the son. She must then give place for the son to grow up in the likeness of his Father. The soul must decrease and the spirit man must increase. Have you consecrated your son?

Blessings,
kent

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