04 January 2007

Kings and Kingdoms

The Old Testament tells many stories of kingdoms rising and falling. Just rulers, wise rulers, evil rulers. But never is our God apathetic to what is happening among His people. He is involved. He cares. He speaks.

He guides the kingdom to and fro: into this land and out of that land; under this ruler and then under that one; bringing famine; bringing bounty. It's an effort to allow the people, all kings and kingdoms, to live in uprightness... to help them stay in His will and walk into the purposes He desires for them.

Sometimes His ways seem harsh. Sometimes they seem gentle and loving. But His heart is always pure. His actions come from a heart understanding discipline, justice and love. He doesn't hesitate to reduce a once strong nation led by a not-quite-up-to-par-of-what-God-expected-of-him man down into a small band of followers. He also doesn't mind rewarding a king with great wisdom when that is what He asks for. He even loves to do crazy things like make a city fall to the ground after it's marched around for a week. He just hopes that people will finally GET IT that He wants to be first in their lives. That He is big enough and great enough and full of so much love that there could be nothing better FOR His people than to make Him first in their lives.

Is this not the same way He deals with us today? Guiding us to and fro. Whispering into our thoughts what His thoughts are. Changing our circumstances to teach us a lesson. Moving our location to open our eyes. Challenging us in little ways to step out in faith. Doing present-day miracles to increase our belief. He's involved in all of our lives, whether we realize it or not. He's in the tiny details and in the big things too. I think He is willing to do just about anything to get our attention. He wants us to see that He's here beside us. He's not in some lofty position out of reach. He's on our tiny little human level. He just wants our hearts to be with Him. His desires that "our hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God..." This is "so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other." (1 Kings, chapter 8)

I know I have a really long way to go. Lord Jesus... how I long to be fully committed to you. With my heart, my soul, and my mind...
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