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Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Than A Lucky Charm

"After the battle was over, the army of Israel retreated to their camp, and their leaders asked, 'Why did the Lord allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?' Then they said, 'Let's bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies'" (1 Samuel 4:3).

One of the most interesting paradoxes in contemporary Christianity is people who depend upon trinkets, jewelry, outward appearance of "holiness" and other superficial methods as their relationship with God. A cross around your neck doesn't bring you any closer to Jesus.

I remember when I was younger, if there was something I really wanted, I would pray and promise God that I would try harder, do better, and be holier. My actions weren't enough to earn His love, and they wouldn't be enough to strong arm Him into doing anything I wanted Him to do.

Israel had lost sight of who God really was. He wasn't a good luck charm or some other tool that could be used to force their own way. Even now, people try to use GOd to make a point or to force their way. Instead of surrendering to HIM, we try to use Him to get something we want to surrender to us.

Surrender, completely and wholly, is the key. We can't just run ahead and grab His name on our way out and try to use it to manipulate our agenda forward. He is God. He is Holy. He is not to be used. He is to be surrendered to, served, honored, loved, and worshipped.

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