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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Prepare the Way of the Lord!, #6
You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3—NIV)
Shortly after I was converted the Lord dealt with me about my love for classical music. He advised me to quit practicing the piano. I did this and was rewarded with an astonishing peace that truly passed my understanding.
A Marine Corps chaplain asked me to help out by playing in a talent show on board ship. I told him the Lord had instructed me not to play the piano. I do not know what he thought of this.
It wasn't until my second year of Bible school that I felt released to return to the piano. One thing led to another until I graduated from college with a minor in music and took a job teaching high-school music. While I was in college there were times when I practiced for several hours a day.
When the Lord restores, He restores. I play in church frequently, but music no longer is an idol to me. I can take it or leave it.
Do you see what I mean? Everything has to go when the Lord asks for it.
What do you think would have transpired if Abraham had refused to offer Isaac? Isaac does not symbolize deliverance from sin but deliverance from self-will. Not my will but Yours be done. Can you say it and mean it—concerning every relationship, every thing, every circumstance? If you cannot, you have an idol. You cannot pass from Pentecost to Tabernacles until you give the Lord Jesus the key to every room of your heart. "He will be Lord of all or He will not be Lord at all."
Your Creator is asking you to do His will rather than your own. He wants to find His rest in you. Are you willing to let Him have His way? The Spirit who dwells in you desires to prepare the way of the Lord.
All the ministries and gifts of the Spirit operate for the purpose of making you and me the house of God.
This purpose is expressed as follows:
When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious—that you, O LORD God, might dwell there. (Psalms 68:18—NIV)
The purpose of the gifts is to create the dwelling place of God.
The Apostle Paul, quoting from the above Psalm, expresses the purpose for the gifts and ministries as follows:
Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13—NIV)
It is interesting to note the idea that precedes Psalms 68:18:
Why gaze in envy, O rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever? (Psalms 68:16—NIV)
God's mountain is Zion, or Christ. The mountains that gaze in envy at Zion represent spiritually ambitious people who are operating from their self-will. Pilate understood that the elders of Israel crucified Christ because of envy.
So it is true that when you decide to live in God's will, forsaking your own religious ambitions, you will be slandered by those who also are religiously ambitious but refuse to bow to God's will. They will tear you to pieces if they can, just as they crucified Christ. Pay no attention to them. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Whoever departs from wickedness and lawlessness often makes himself the prey of God's elect.
To be continued.