Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Adhering to the message of God

We need to adhere to the message of God. I’m not just talking about the Word of God, because we can all read the Word of God and study the Word of God. But adhering to the message of God is more than just the Word of God.

It comes in different forms. It can come in people, different events, thoughts, ideas, and it can come in the Word of God. What we need to do is to be able to adhere to the message of God.

Psalms 94:16 says, Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

As Christians we have to stand. It’s time for us to rise up and adhere to the message of God. Because by adhering to the message of God, we can fulfill His will. You see, its time for us to rise up and take control, instead of sitting back and being taken control of.

I Samuel 3:10And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. 11And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. 15And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17And he said, What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.

Before I get into the text, I want to go back because there is something to be learned in the events leading up to this. You see, Hannah was Samuel’s mother. She was barren, and longed to have a child.In fact, in I Samuel 1:11 she vowed a vow. O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

First we see that she made a vow. She was serious about having a child. In these days for a woman to be barren, it was like a reproach was brought upon her. This was about as low as a woman could get. And actually in verse sixteen she says, Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial.

Daughter of Belial derives from the term “sons of Belial” which meant worthless. It referred to that person as being wicked. Such people were absolute reprobates.

She didn’t want it to be thought of God or anyone else that she was barren because of something she had done against the Lord. And she loved her child so much, parents know this, but she was willing to give this child at a very young age to the priest. Think about that for a second, mothers. You are barren, you may never have the opportunity to give birth again, but still yet you give that child to God completely.Its sort of like what we do when we dedicate our children, it’s a solid vow. Making a vow is important to God. In Ecclesiastics 5:5 the preacher states Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

It’s very serious to God when you make a vow and go against it. Now there may be times in our lives that God wants to give use a message to give to someone else, but he’s not going to give you that message if you have vows that are broken.Why? Because you are untrustworthy to God. Have you ever had someone to promise you something and they renege on their promise? Then they promise again and they do it again. Eventually you’re going to lose trust in that person. Well, it’s no different for God. He won’t depend on you if you break vows to Him.

It’s very important to Him if you keep those vows, and he will bless you for them. In fact, in I Samuel 2:21 He blesses Hannah for keeping her vow. ­And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters.

Looking back, this message may not have been given to Eli if Hannah chose to go against her promise to the Lord. Because it is Samuel, her son, that gives the message unto Eli.

Going back to the text that we read in I Samuel 3:10, you will notice that this is the third time that the Lord called Samuel. You see, the first two times he did not hear the message. That’s the first thing we have to do, we have to hear the message of God.

The first two times He called, Samuel heard the call but did not hear the message. He knew someone was calling him and look at what he did, he went to Eli thinking it was Eli that was calling him.There are times that we can’t hear the message. We can hear the call, but not the message. Kevin (my brother-in-law) and I were at a WVU football game back in November, and someone had called on his cell phone. So he has the cell phone up to his ear. After he got off, I asked him what she wanted, knowing it was his wife. He just shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know, I couldn’t hear her.”

The phone was right at his ear, but for the noise and buzz that was going on around us he couldn’t hear the voice that was right by his ear. The same thing happens with God when he tries to speak to us. We are surrounded with all of this noise in our lives that we are unable to hear the voice of God when he is right at our ear.

You see, sin will clutter up your brain and your thoughts to where you can’t hear to what God is trying to speak to you.But you see what Samuel did; he sought out a man of God. He went to Eli, and that is what we have to do when we think God is calling to us, we have to turn to men and women of God.Don’t seek out those of the world, but those of God. This way that when you hear the call, you can also hear the message.

Whenever Samuel does hear the message he was prepared. He answered, Speak for thy servant heareth. We have to be ready, and getting that sin out of our lives we are ready to hear the message.

If we look on into it Samuel does receive this message, and looking back you’ll see that Eli’s sons were wicked. Going back to what we said earlier about the term “sons of Belial” is what they were considered. Eli knew this but did nothing about it.

Now when Samuel hears the message from the Lord he is to speak it to Eli, but when the time comes to it Samuel was afraid to do so. In verse fifteen it says Samuel feared to show Eli the vision.

Once we hear the message of God we need to speak the message of God. It may not be just for you, it may be for someone around you. Samuel was afraid to speak that message. But we have to cast out fear with that perfect love of God.

Whenever you go to do something, no matter what it is you need to have an inner desire to get the job done. Whether it’s at work, around the house, or coming to church you have to find that drive to do it. You have to find some sort of inspiration that propels you to do whatever it is you are doing.

Sometimes you might be doing something, and like Samuel you might become afraid, but you have to push past that. You have to find that next gear that takes you past that fear.

The message must be spoken. If you have a brother or sister that is doing wrong you must give them that message. They may be doing wrong unaware or they might just be ignoring it. You have to speak that message, because God gave it to you.

If you are looking for a desire. If you are looking for a drive. If you are looking for the will to do that, look no further then their souls. Is your fear more important then their souls? Is your fear more important then their salvation? Because if you don’t give them that message and they keep on going as they are then that road will lead them to destruction and death.

We have to be able to speak the message. Listen to what Eli says to him in verse seventeen. I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also.

He tells him that God will not only do to you what He said He would do to me, but more on top of that. It’s the sin of omission. You will be punished if you do not speak the message. We have to speak the message.

Don’t be afraid. Know who is at your back. You have the Lord of Hosts. Sure the enemy might be strong, but you have a stronger force behind you.

I’ve been kind of focusing on Samuel and what he had to do with this message, but now I want to shift over to Eli. Now it comes to a point where Eli has a decision to make. He can either accept the message or deny it. This is just as important as hearing and speaking the message. You must be able to receive the message of God.

Someone might come to us with a message, and what is our reaction? Do you stand off and say, “Who is this person to judge me? Who does he thing he is that he can come to me and say these things? He doesn’t know the situation. He doesn’t know what I’m going through.” I’m here to tell you that he may not know, but God does. And that is exactly why you got that message.

Look at what Eli says in reply to the message in verse eighteen. It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth good.When someone speaks a message to you do you receive it? Do you say like Eli, It is the Lord let him do what seemeth good?

Now when Hannah was going to bring Samuel to the priest her husband told her, Do what seemeth thee good.

Many times when that message comes to us, we want to take on the phrase “I’m going to do what seems good to me.” This is where we clash against the will of God. We have to do like Eli said and let things be, as the Lord seems to be good.

Eli could have went against this message. He could have told Samuel to get out. But now, he bowed down to it. In Proverbs 14:12 it says, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.

If you continue to seek out your own path when that message comes to you, and say that you are going to do it the way that seems right unto you, we read in proverbs what will happen.You see, we have to seek out the path that seems right to God. We might dread it. It might be something that is going to be tough and aurous for us. But if it’s God’s way, it’s the right way. We have to be able to receive that message.