(Part Two) – Looking Further Into the Qualities of God in Remembering:
GOD’S IMMANENCE: God’s presence in Creation–a personal and relational God.
In PART ONE, we discussed how in the midst of circumstances–when we become disappointed, perplexed (baffled, confused, mystified), and disillusioned with where we find our self in life. FEAR often sets in to our spirit; of what is going to happen to us and our family. We get the wrong images of and misbelief about who God is, which then keeps us from God’s presence.
FEAR Casts out LOVE–
“There is no fear in love, [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love” (1 John 4:18 AMP).
GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:16):
God’s IMMANENCE is how He is unwavering; determined to be with us. close to us and for us. We have a LOVING COMPASSIONATE GOD who chose to be attentive to our pleading cries IN THE MIDST…forgiving and merciful.
‘God Believers’ in Old Testament (First Kings 8)–
GOD shows His goodness through fulfilling everything He promised David.
There were visible signs of encouragement!
— a throne…Solomon reigning.
— a new magnificent Temple.
The people were EXPECTING God to not only stay or tabernacle with them as before; not to actually dwell, but abide–settle permanently in a House as it were (Solomon’s Temple). Or as The Message Bible reads: “move into the neighborhood”–to stay with them forever!
Yet, was there some selfishness to this motive? Did they want to keep God for themselves under their control somehow? Do we?
How patient and longsuffering do you think God is?
Most believe that God would bless us if obedient and good; did what God wanted, but do you believe God would bless you with His goodness, even if you chose the total opposite of what He wanted, even when you failed Him over and over again?
I made an amazing discovery in my WORD Detective investigation from this Biblical story, God does just that…remembering that prayers are inspired by God’s Spirit; a gift of His grace & prompting…we see very interesting words God puts in Solomon’s mouth (1 Kings 8:22-53). Solomon actually prayed for God’s mercy from all the consequences the nation of Israel were going to experience from the people’s sins.
The people disobeyed ALL THE WARNINGS; chose curses instead of blessings. But God already knew this, since He spoke about this very thing through Moses in Deuteronomy 28–warning the people of the consequences and rewards of disobedience and obedience–through blessings and curses.
God’s Presents Us with Choices and His Recommendation:
I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, the BLESSINGS and the CURSES; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 AMP).
Wrong Choices Made–
Everyone of the disasters that Solomon prayed about in 1 Kings 8, actually happened as a consequence of wrong choices & actions:
— Defeat by Enemy Forces,
— Natural Disasters,
— and Plenty of Wars.
Do any of the items listed above sound familiar in our world today?
It all culminates in a nation of God’s people, going into exile… and as Psalm 89 says, rather than becoming a nation where foreigners are attracted to come and pray, Israel and Jerusalem become an object of mockery and ridicule (just as God warned Solomon in 1 Kings 9:6-9):
 This house shall become a heap of ruins; every passerby shall be astonished and shall hiss [with surprise] and say, Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?  Then they will answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, Who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have laid hold of other gods and have worshiped and served them; therefore the Lord has brought on them all this evil (1 Kings 9:8-9 AMP).
The people were in a long-term state of sinning against God and yet…God turned this kingship into a blessing and fully redeemed it through JESUS; who is the true Son of David, the Promised King of Kings–whose reign of shalom peace will never end. He is the anointed Savior, who sacrificed himself for us; extends His forgiveness to full restoration to you and I.
A LEGACY TO DAVID:
God gave the throne and enduring kingdom, a legacy to David in spite of his sinfulness. God allowed Solomon to build the temple and promised to all–His presence to be present in this man-made temple, even though He couldn’t be contained, even in the vastness of the universe. All of this in spite of Solomon and the mixed motives of the people trying to box Him in–to domesticate Him for their own benefit.
Though God knew of Solomon’s upcoming actions, even though he was given the gift of wisdom–even wrote the Book of Proverbs–yet he would later live foolishly, turning his heart away after many other loves and hundreds of wives and concubines–worshiping false idols from many nations that came along with them.
GOD, His name, the temple and the worship of God is not a commodity to be used as a means for our own selfish ends, yet that is what Solomon and the people of Israel made them.
You might be asking the question at this point of the series, “What’s all of this have to do with me and my life as it is right now…IN THE MIDST, as you call it?”
WISDOM is not a possession! It is a gift and we can lose it… if we let go of the reverence for God, the Lord of our lives. It’s a slow fade when we give ourselves and our hearts away.
No one demonstrates this erosion in his life more fully than king Solomon:
He did everything that God warned the kings not to do–
Solomon Examples: misusing power; amassing weapons, riches, wives; let his heart go astray; lost his reverence for God; turning away from following the Law…
All of the above and more, because he proudly considered himself better than other people (Deuteronomy 17:14-20).
And yet, God is still merciful–
Later in life, Solomon writes Ecclesiastes, realizing all the mistakes he has made in the past; how he’s wasted his life chasing after many dreams and desires that turned out to be illusions…all is vanity and futility without God. He repents and at the end of his life realizes that worshiping God is indeed, above everything else.
You can also regain WISDOM and God’s MERCY and His relentless LOVE restored IF…you return to God, the source of ALL GOOD THINGS, including wisdom and love.
God even blesses us when we choose to go against Him. Are you surprised?
The Israelites wanted a king —
God never intended for His people to have or need a king. But the Israelites saw their neighbors had kings, so they prayed to God…We need one too! Kind of like keeping up with the Jones of the neighborhood. God even told them if He gave them a kings, they would be sorry. My mom and dad told me the same when I was a child–You will be sorry Mel. They knew ahead of time the consequences that came along with my request.
Our Heavenly Father lets us have what our flesh desires…even when He warns us about the harmful consequences to us. And it breaks His heart and hurts Him in the process.
In His heart of LOVE, He is constantly waiting for you, aching with yearning for your return to His presence with outstretched arms, ready to give you a ‘big hug’! [The Parable of the Prodigal Son–Luke 15:11-32].
Is it too late?
Maybe you are reading this blog series, thinking that it’s too late. You’ve failed miserably in this mess you call life–disappointed, perplexed and disillusioned. You might be feeling there’s no turning back, or some sinful habits or patterns or ways that you think or believe about yourself–in the midst of all of what you’re going through right now. Feelings of rejection, low-self-esteem, hurts, trauma; that keeps you emotionally bound–STRONGHOLDS–that plague your life that you just can’t seem to overcome.
THE PROMISE: With Our God Comes GRACE, MERCY, HOPE, FORGIVENESS–
With our God, who is patient and kind, full of Grace and Mercy, there is HOPE! God will hear and He will FORGIVE:
2 Chronicles 7:14, God gives the PROMISE:
If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves,
pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face
and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven,
forgive their sin, and heal their land.
I like to think that God’s promise in the above verse is conditional — with the use of the word...”IF”:
IF…YOU HUMBLE YOURSELF,
IF..YOU REQUIRE OF NECESSITY OF GOD’S PRESENCE–HIS FACE,
IF…YOU REPENT–TURN FROM WICKED WAYS,
THEN–and only then, will God hear from heaven, forgive sin, and heal their land.
Back to the beginning–The story of Adrian Plass (part one):
The youth worker’s life was seen as a field of overrun weeds and bramble…a wasteland…and he was feeling hopeless. But the man of God goes on and says,
But wait…I see fire burning up the weeds and then ashes being put back into the soil and now the soil is enriched with all that was burned up. And the Lord puts a sign over this field…
“NOTHING SHALL BE WASTED”
Philippians 3:13-14 AMP:
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.
I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
The Lord desires to pour out on us ALL THE BLESSINGS and JOYS in Him that we’ve missed or missing IN THE MIDST-Disappointed, Perplexed and Disillusioned. Yet He doesn’t make it all up with outpourings alone! These “outpourings” become “overflowing s” in our life:
And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil” (Joel 2:24 AMP).
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I [JESUS] came that they [YOU] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10 AMP).