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Pointers along the way #639

Bypassing God!

- Jacob Ninan

There was a time when Israel got defeated before the Philistines (1Sa.4:2). Instead of humbling themselves before God, acknowledging their sin because of which God had handed them over to the Philistines (Judg.13:1), and turning back to God, Israel thought of gaining victory by taking the ark of the Lord into the battle (1Sa.4:3). They thought that since the ark represented the presence of God, if they took it, it would be the same as having God with them! But they were not only defeated, but the Philistines took the ark away with them (vv.10,11)!

We are now Christians, having been born again by the Spirit of God and with God living within us. What do we do when we need God to act on our behalf? We wave a cross or the Bible to scare demons away, place the Bible under our pillows to avoid bad dreams, wear a chain with a cross around our neck or has a cross on the wall of our house to get God's protection over our lives, place stickers on our car that say, "Jesus saves!" to ensure accident free driving, etc.! And they don't work, just as in the case of Israel with the ark!

If the almighty God is our Father, why is it that we don't draw near to Him straightaway in times of trouble? Why don't we ask Him for protection or whatever else we need? Why is it that we look to things, methods and techniques to get things from God rather than approach our Father openly?

In the case of Israel, it is clear that they did not have a proper relationship with God at this time, and it may be that they were imitating the practices they had seen in the nations around them. Is the reason why we are not so bold or confident to run to our Father that our relationship is not secure? Are there things in our life that are not right with Him because of which we hesitate to go near Him? The moment after Adam and Eve disobeyed God they became afraid of Him and wanted to hide from Him.

But we are now in a different relationship with God compared to Adam or Israel. God's relationship with us has been opened through His grace, and not on the basis of our righteousness (Ep.2:8,9). Our record has been wiped clean by the blood of Jesus, and there is also provision for us to confess our sins immediately when we fall (1Jn.1:9;2:1), so that we can have an all-time access to our Father (He.10:19-22). We don't have to be scared of Him, and we don't have to wonder if He would accept us. It is our privilege now to run to Him whenever we are in trouble, like a little child to the father. Why do we have to resort to forms and methods to get God to work for us? Just ask ourselves why hesitate before God, and see if it is because we actually want a life where we can do what we want and we are unwilling to walk according to His ways.

We cannot have a real and meaningful Christian life without an ongoing, continual fellowship with the Father through Jesus. Such a life is not possible unless we are willing to give up our own life and do what He tells us (Lk.9:23).


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