Omnipresent…Only Where He is Welcomed and Obeyed

Hezekiah was one of the Kings of Judah that “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.” He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses handmade, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it.” (2 Kings 18: 4)

For a reference to the bronze serpent “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” (Num. 21:9) (Also John 3:14)

Hezekiah broke the historical monument that Moses had hand crafted for those who were bitten by the snakes the Lord sent (See Num 21:6). This was a landmark of what the Lord had done for them. A flag of how good God had been. This must have been a harsh moment to witness. Can you imagine seeing something so valuable be destroyed in front of your very eyes. But the word says that the people had been burning incense to it.

What a confused bunch of people. They were so wrapped up with there other god’s idols that they somehow confused the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How did this ever happen.

Well the scripture is fairly clear that Hezekiah was righteous before God. And the first acts that were documented were his removal of idols and high places where other gods where honored. I think this is the first movement (Jonathan Martin rubs off on me and I like it). We have to tear down the high places that exalt themselves above God. We know what they are… they maybe our physical appearance or our social life. These are the things that keep us from entering into a true devotion to God. For us just like the Israelites our pastor can serve as a spiritual authority like Hezekiah was identifying these things and tearing them down. Thomas Merton says that we don’t have equal freedom to choose good from evil, if sin is in our lives we are kept from the ability to do good.

Movement two is that outside of a community we can’t be touched by God. We have tendencies in us that move us toward Idolatry. If you don’t think so what do you do when no one else is around? Okay you may read and pray but then what… I play video games, I eat what I shouldn’t, and think what I shouldn’t. I need people in my life to hold me accountable and to help me discern the will of the Lord. Also I need spiritual leaders in my life that can see that I may be worshiping a bronze serpent.

The third movement is where I want to hang out for a while. The third movement is: Are you trying to get strength from an experience that has long been passed? When the Israelites where first in the wilderness complaining and somehow still receiving blessings from God. He set up the Sabbath and extra provision for the day prior to the Sabbath. God would provide for them a double portion so they could rest on the Sabbath. But the people had a real hard time with this idea they would try and get as much as they could. And as a result what they picked up in excess was rotten and maggot filled by morning. What I am saying is that our God is not “The Great I Was” He is “The Great I Am.” And to those who have ears to hear know that He is present right as you read this. He is fully capable of doing a greater act of grace right in this moment than he has ever done.

This is where I feel a lot of churches and organizations fail. So many church folk teach Christ like a motivational seminar where we learn all about this wonderful person who was born, died, and was raised again. But any church where Christ Jesus is not the head (See Eph. 4) the church is burning incense to a bronze serpent.

But some might say well they mean well and that if Christ is being preached than that’s all that matters. And to some extent I can agree, but I feel that when a leadership of a church tears down the high places in there own hearts and desire to be led by God then we can encounter the real presence of God.

So many folks who want to Love God find them selves hogtied with duct tape by the sins that they hope to hide. They starve for fresh revelation and new grace. They end up telling old testimonies and if you don’t watch out you will get comfortable in a dead church where everyone can get around and burn incense to the bronze serpent.  But I believe God is saying ion this very moment to you that you need to go back and find where you lost Jesus. What was the last thing you remember Jesus instructing you to do that you have been hiding from. What is the sin that is killing you and keeping you from the freedom that God has waiting on you right in this very moment? Speak aloud to God he hears you confess you need to see Him and know His love in this very moment. While your heart is open confess and repent of the sins that have become high places in your heart, Things that are keeping you from experiencing the Great I Am.

 

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