Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The book of Joshua opens with God's commission to Joshua to lead His people into the land of Canaan. God's aged servants Moses and Aaron has died. Now Joshua, a young man, was faced with this enormous task. If Moses, with all his years of experience was unable to bring the people into the land, what hope was there for him? How would he be able to cope with the seven tribes that inhabited the land, all of them formidable foes? And how could he lead people like the children of Israel, with their fear of death and constant complaints? Faced with such a challenge, Joshua must have felt overwhelmed. 
At that point he saw a vision. A man with a drawn sword appeared before him. Not recognizing the Man, he asked, “are you for us or for our  enemies?” (Joshua 5:13 NIV). The Man answer was, "Neither." He was neither for one side nor for the other, He has come for one purpose, "As Commander of the army of the Lord I have come." (verse 14). Praise God, this is the purpose of our Lord Jesus! He has not come to help us, not our enemies, but to take His place as CAPTAIN OF THE LORD OF HOST. If you belong to the Lord's host, then He is your Captain. The question here is not one of receiving help, but of accepting leadership. He has not come to offer assistance, but to demand SUBJECTION.

How did Joshua react when he heard that this Man has come as COMMANDER of the Lord's army? "Joshua fell on his face down to the ground in reverence (worship)" (Joshua 5:14). Do you see the ESSENCE of WORSHIPING the ways of God? The issue is one of submission to His leadership. God does not stand in the midst of the conflict giving a little help here or there. When He is in command all is well! You do not know God if you think He can occupy a subordinate position in your battle. It is His place to lead and it is your place to submit. It is only when you are in your right place under His command that you will know what it means to worship and what it means to have the drawn sword wielded on your behalf.

Friday, July 10, 2015


In Exodus chapter 4 we read about the story of the Israelite in bondage in the Land of Egypt. When God sent Moses and Aaron to tell the children of Israel that He had seen their affliction and was about to deliver them from the bondage of the Egyptians, "the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped." (Exodus 4:31 NKJV)

How did the children of Israel arrive at a faith that resulted in true worship? How were they able to overcome four centuries of slavery and yet they did believe? 
"Now it happened in the process of time, that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them." (Exodus 2:23-25 NKJV)
The Egyptian Pharaoh was cruel and forced the Hebrews to be in a bondage so painful that it caused them to groan. The cruelties they suffered:
- The king sets taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens (Exodus 1:10)
- They went through hard labor to build for Pharaoh supplies cities, Pithom and Rameses (Exodus 1:11)
- Their male infants were almost wiped out by Pharaoh's (Exodus 1: 1:16-17, 22)
But God was FAITHFUL, He heard their groaning, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
"Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped." (Exodus 4:29-31 NKJV)
Moses and Aaron showed up among the Hebrews  bearing a message from God. Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then, in the sight of the people, Aaron performed signs that manifested God's power. Because of the people's condition, God's signs of power were necessary in order to arrest their attention. But it was the message that God has visited them that caused them to worship. What does it mean that God had "visited" them? God's visitation, then and now, is His literal coming alongside a person in spiritual need. The children of Israel recognized their great need. In an elementary way they understood God's presence and appreciated it.
Interestingly, the text records that God had already visited the people. They became aware of His visitation by His Words, in this case His Words to Moses as relayed by Aaron through the elders. The people heard the message, observed the signs confirming it, and believed what the heard
The account in Exodus states that God's visitation occurred because He "remembered" His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Does the word "remembered" indicate the God had forgotten His promise, and that it suddenly occurred to Him that He had not been taking care of His part of that promise? Of course not! The word "remember" is a human term. God cannot forget, so He does not need to remember. Sometimes the Bible says that God chooses not to "remember" our forgiven sins, meaning that He chooses not to bring up those past offenses. In the case of the Exodus, the Lord "remembered" His covenant in the sense that He saw it was time to enact this part of His will. The end result was that the people believed and worshiped!
Do you see the people of God worshiping Him for His FAITHFULNESS? No change had actually taken place in the condition of God's people when they bowed their heads in worship.They had only been assured that God had seen their affliction and was going to deliver them. They were told by Moses and Aaron that God had not forgotten them those four hundred thirty years and it was this assurance that provoked worship.
We are often unable to worship God because in our trials we think He has forgotten us. We are cast down because of prolonged domestic difficulties; but whose domestic difficulties have lasted four hundred thirty years? We have been sick and have long hoped for healing; we have been out of employment for months and still cannot find a job; the same old harassing circumstances remain. So we come to the conclusion that God has not taken note of all our trials and has left us to our own resources. How can we worship Him? Our lips are silenced.
But a day comes when we see God and understand His FAITHFULNESS, and immediately we know that He has never forgotten us. On that day our silenced lips are opened and with bowed head as we acknowledge that all that we have gone through has been working for our good. (Romans 8:28) We see God's grace in everything and we worship Him for His FAITHFULNESS!
It is an easy thing to worship God in a mass gathering because there is no cost attached. What if one day, our circumstances are against us? Can we still give thanks and offer sacrifice of praise and worship?
God is still seeking for worshipers who dare to worship Him in all His ways upon their lives. We must come to a point where all our entire future hinges on the matter of our worshipful acceptance of all His dealings with us. We must come to a stage where we worship Him for everything it pleases Him to give and for everything it pleases Him to take away.
The Essence of True Worship, then, flows from a trusting heart, a heart that understands God's faithfulness to His promise.