God at work

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Cross at sunset

God at work

Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “Hushai’s advice is better than Ahithophel’s.” For the Lord had determined to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, which really was the better plan, so that he could bring disaster upon Absalom!

II Samuel 17

I used to think that summer was road construction season. However, the never-ending reality of flashing signs and orange barrels lining the highways reveal that now all seasons are construction season.

The crews work during the day. They work during the night. The evidence of their work isn’t only seen in traffic jams but also in smooth roads and stable bridges, for which, we are all grateful.

Family problems are one thing, but a brother assaulting his sister and a brother killing his brother and a son attempting to kill his father is something completely different.

It goes way beyond the average family dysfunction.

The description above is of King David’s family! In the middle of this literal royal mess, we see God at work accomplishing his purposes.

No wise guy was going to derail that train.

Are there any messes in your world today?

Be encouraged. God is still at work. Seek him with your whole heart and ask him to show you where.

When he does, join him! He’s not done with you, or you wouldn’t be here.

Also, by the way, if you are providing the fuel for some of the messes around you, now is a great time to stop and change course.

Integrity

But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.

— Acts 5

It didn’t seem like that big a deal. True, I lied to my mom in order to get out of going to church.

But seriously, one Sunday out of 52. It wasn’t like the world was going to come to an end, right?

After my family left, I was there alone wondering what I was going to do. My troubled conscience simply wouldn’t allow me any peace. I never felt the need to try to pull that stunt again.

Ananias and Sapphira found out that lying was a bad idea, too, especially to God.

Their desire to be seen as generous overwhelmed their desire to actually be generous.

Integrity is a big deal. There must be consistency between who we say we are and how we live.

Shortly after their judgement fell, the disciples’ integrity was also tested.

Even under the whip, they would not walk away from Jesus.

Today, we are all making choices.

Each one makes a statement about what we really believe and who we really are.

Granted, there will be exceptions. But by and large, our actions reveal our true core beliefs about life, relationships, our identity, morality, the Bible, etc., and most importantly Jesus.

If we are claiming to be a Jesus follower, does the testimony of our lives back it up?

A turned heart

…And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

I Kings 11:1-13

To this day, we still don’t know what happened.

None of us could figure out why our friend ejected himself from the training program after three years of investment.

There was nothing else in mind to pursue, just “I quit.”

It was painful to watch as nothing came together for him. No focus. No long-term goals or planning. Just floundering.

We have all kept a mental note of where he could have been if his heart hadn’t been turned away.

King Solomon was a noble and godly man. He sought the will of God and the best for his people. He was a builder, an author, and a close observer of God’s law for a very long time.

Then it happened. His heart was turned.

God gave strict instructions not to marry outside of the Jewish community. Solomon chose to diverge from that plan, God’s plan. As a result, he shipwrecked his walk with God.

A life that started out so strong ended up derailed at the end.

The truth is that our heart belongs to someone or something. We are following the trajectory of that which we have placed in that position of influence.

If we’re not attentive to that which our heart is turned to, we’ll end up in places that we didn’t want to be.

We may genuinely want to arrive in a different destination, but our heart is turned and we don’t even know it.

You see, we walk in the direction of our hearts. This reality explains God’s greatest commandment — “Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, soul, strength and mind.”

Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.