Sunday, May 9, 2010

Presence and Prosperity

Presence and Prosperity
May 10, 2010
1 Chronicles 13:14 "The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the LORD blessed his household and everything he had."

While there are limited ways to convince God to bring prosperity to you and your household, I am aware of three found in the Bible. The first, and most obvious, is to bring your whole tithe to church. The second is to obey His commands and follow His ways in all that you do. And the third way is to bring God's presence into your house. In the Old Testament, God filled a wooden box with his presence. I'm not sure why God chose to fill a box, but nonetheless, that is where He decided to place His physical presence here on earth. That box was called the Ark of the Covenant. It was originally supposed to stay in a tent inside the Holy of Holies, which was the Temple of God, but King David was intent on building it a permanent place. In the meantime, the Ark was a possession of interest to the Israelites and to warring nations who wished to impose damage upon the Israelites; it had to be kept safe.

King David was actually afraid of the Ark, the presence of God, because there were a few areas of David's life where he was not serving God whole-heartedly. So David decided to temporarily store it in the house of a man named Obed-Edom. The presence of God rested in that box, and lived in the house of Obed-Edom. Scripture says the Ark stayed with him for three months and everything in his household prospered during that time. There is a reason for this. The Bible compares God and Satan to Light and Darkness, respectively. It is a simple fact that when standing in full light of day, there is no darkness. This is the same with the presence of God. Satan does not stand too well in the presence of God; he flees. While the Ark of the Covenant (God's presence) was staying in the house of Obed-Edom, Satan could not be around. Since Satan was not around, he was not present to attack the blessing of the household of Obed-Edom.

Transition to the New Testament, and God chose a new dwelling place. Instead of a box of wood, God now fills the hearts of those who love Him. God lives inside you and me, if we choose to allow Him to enter in through the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. If God lives inside you and me, and we are full of His light, then darkness cannot stay. Satan cannot be there and he cannot attack you. If you want the presence of God to dwell in your house, make sure it is an inviting place for Him to stay. God will not keep His presence upon your life if you are a wretched, awful person; He WILL NOT live there. I've visited many people, some whom I would NEVER want to stay with; a few of these people are my own relatives. If I could not stand to live there, how could the presence of God? Conversely, there have been many times in my own life, where I'm sure my heart was not a very inviting place for God to live. This is the same reason David sent the Ark to live in Obed-Edom's house. The frightful thing about that, though, when God is not abiding, Satan wants desperately to inhabit that place and attack all who live there.

There is a sure-fire way to allow God's presence to rest in your life. After you open up your heart to Him and accept Jesus as Lord of your life, you must make every part of your life an inviting place for Him. Here is the secret to making that happen, it is found in Psalm 22:3. It reads, "Yet you are Holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel." Another translation of this verse says that "God inhabits the praises of His people." God loves praise and wants to be where His people are giving praise and honor to Him. The transition to your own life, then, is to make everything you do an act of worship to God. He will see your praise and inhabit that place, making your life His dwelling place. This means when you are washing the dishes or doing a random, mundane project for your boss, do it with an attitude of praise as to God. When you are driving down the road, make sure your driving is an act of praise to God. When you are frustrated with your children or your spouse, make sure that you are still functioning in a manner worthy of God's presence and praise. Live a life of praise and God's presence will also fill your house, with blessing and prosperity to follow.

Incidentally, Obed-Edom was not an Israelite, but his first name means . . . worshipper.

1. Does God dwell in your house at ALL times?
2. How can you consider your life a function of praise?
3. How can you make every thing in your life an act of praise?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Josh 24:15, Psalm 22:3, Acts 17:24, Rom 12:1, 1 Cor 3:16-17, 1 Cor 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16

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