Wednesday, June 5, 2013
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I remember the time that my son got in real late. And I remember because that really wasn't his usual style. And, of course, I was waiting calmly and patiently for him to get home and, you know, waiting to hear his explanation; except for the hand cuffs and the bright light that I greeted him with. Now, he had good reasons. There were car problems, and there were people who really did have to be dropped off before he was, and, oh yeah, they got lost. It all checked out, but I was still an unhappy father for one important thing that he missed. Can you guess what it is? Uh-huh, "You didn't call!" Every parent knows, and most teenagers learn that you're making a big mistake when you don't call home.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "You Didn't Call."
I'm going to read our word for today from the Word of God from 1 Chronicles 14. David is in his unstoppable years; everything he does works, and there are secrets here to being unstoppable. Verse 10 says, "David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines?' And the Lord answered him, ‘Go and I will hand them over to you.'" In verse 14, it says, "David inquired of God again." And in this case he happens to be asking Him about a strategy for defeating the Philistines. You see, David checked with the Lord apparently on everything...well, almost everything.
One day he did a great thing. He had the ark moved from the suburbs so to speak, the outer country, to where it would be in the center of things. But it was only to be handled by the Levites. That's the law! And they didn't do it God's way and a man died while transporting that ark. Now we read in chapter 15 of 1 Chronicles, "You are the heads of the Levitical families. You and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the Lord to the place I have prepared for it. It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. (Now listen to this.) We did not inquire of Him about how to do it in the prescribed way."
In other words, David is saying, "We messed up because we didn't call our Father; we didn't check to see how God wanted this done." Our tendency is to pray about something, and then check in same time, same station maybe tomorrow. Or pray when we're losing the battle. Can we learn a lesson from David when he was in his unstoppable years? Pray first about which battles to fight. Not every battle is one God wants you to be involved in. Get His orders before you get involved.
Then ask the Lord about how to fight the battle. Pray until you start to feel His plan for that battle unfolding. The ark incident teaches us that you can do a good thing in a way God doesn't want it done. Good thing, wrong way, and it won't work.
Too often, this guy's got to confess to you, I will pray about something in the morning, and then I'll put myself on cruise control and just kind of go ahead and not check in again until I hit a crisis. I'm a victim of my own momentum. Our Father expects us to check with Him frequently, regularly, all through the day, before a call, before an email, before a signature, before we drive, before we park, before we make a decision about where we're going to go next. "What do You want me to do, Lord?" "How do You want me to do it?"
You can be unstoppable if you move through all your day's choices in consultation with your Heavenly Father. Like earthly kids, we tend to get in a mess, and then come into the Father's presence with our head hanging. And our Father says, "You didn't call."