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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Consequences

"But Samuel replied, "Why ask me if the LORD has left you and become your enemy?  The LORD has done just as He said He would.  He has taken the kingdom from you and given it to your rival David"
(1 Samuel 28:16-17).

OK.  This may seem silly, but perhaps you'll catch something powerfully important.  One of the things that my wife and I have greatly enjoyed in our lives is our microwave oven.  YES!  It cooks, it warms, it defrosts, it softens.  We have had a microwave oven our entire marriage.  As a matter of fact, we received three microwaves for our wedding.  "How ridiculous," we thought.  Almost a decade later, we're second guessing just how ridiculous that thought was...or wasn't.  Our microwave has waved all of its micros "goodbye!"  It's gone.  How we miss something we never really thought about, something we thought would always be there, something we took for granted.  Sometimes it's true that you don't truly know how much you value something until it's not there.

Saul was dealing with a similar concept on a much grander scale.  It's not that God had left him, but that the decisions and choices that Saul had made had caused a great chasm between he and God.  Saul was equating God's "absence" with the consequences of his choices to disobey.  God didn't remove His presence (for God is omnipresent - He's always everywhere at all times), but he did remove His favor.  Choices render consequences, whether good or bad.  Saul allowed this consequence to drive him into a further panic, engaging a path that would continue him on a journey of separation from the favor of God.

We must realize that every choice will result in a consequence - good OR bad.  These consequences don't just affect our own lives, but those that we live with, live around, lead, or have influence.  It's vital that we are quick to hear the voice of God even when it seems He speaks in silence.  We must allow the silence to lead us into repentance, and into a greater closeness and intimacy with His presence and His favor.

Have you or are you now questioning the favor of God?  Does He seem so far away?  It's not that He has left.  He's still right here, but your ability to sense His presence has waned.  Talk to Him.  Turn over every obstacle, burden, sin, struggle, or whatever else that's in your life that you know is contrary to His absolute best.  He loves you.  He longs to restore you to even greater realms of His favor.  His favor, too, is a consequence.  It's a consequence of an open and repentant heart and a surrendered life.

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