Old Testament


In 2 Kings 23, we read about a “Man on Fire” and it’s not Denzel Washington starring in a Hollywood movie:

“2 Kings 23:13-15 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 14And he broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men. 15Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned, reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. “

Not only did Josiah tear down all of the high places in his own kingdom of Judah, he destroyed the high place at Bethel that had been erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Jeroboam was the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which by Josiah’s time had already been carried into exile by the Assyrians. It wasn’t enough for Josiah to ensure that there were no temples of false worship in his own kingdom. He went into Israel to tear down their idols as well. In other words, he went above and beyond what was required of him as King of Judah. At this point Josiah was not acting as the King of Judah, but as an ambassador for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was a “Man on Fire.” What lengths are you willing to go to ensure that the message of the gospel gets to the ends of the earth? Are you willing to give up everything? Josiah was.

What will God use to measure whether or not Enjoying God Fellowship is a “successful church?” Will it be how big we get or how many baptisms we have? Is success to be found in the size of the building that we will eventually build (because you can’t be a church without a building evidently)? You could have all of that and be an utter failure in God’s eyes. To be honest, God could care less about all of those things if they define your existence as a church. “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21). Isaiah writes, “And the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me'” (Isaiah 29:13). In other words, it does not bring God any joy when His people only look good on the outside, in fact He hates it! It doesn’t take a work of God to draw a crowd or coreograph some elaborate “worship service.” These are not the things that God is after.

David penned Psalm 51 after being confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. Psalm 51 is the result of a man who sinned greatly against God and expereienced genuine repentance. As the Psalm is drawing to a close we read in verses 16 and 17, “For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

Broken people are the evidence of God’s mighty hand. Broken hearts are by far a greater miracle than booming crowds. If Enjoying God Fellowship is going to be used by God to do great things, it will only happen if our hearts are broken.

“A Few Good Men” has been a theme of the U.S. Marine Corps for as long as I can remember. But, what kind of men does God seek to do his will? A brief look at the reigns of Saul and David give us a clue. Saul was known for disobedience and rebellion. He was seen as a failure as a king in God’s eyes. In fact, God even said that He was sorry He made Saul king over Israel (1 Samuel 15:11).  What kind of men did Saul seek to be a success?

 1 Samuel 14:52 There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.

Do you see Saul’s approach? Saul was mesmerized by power. If he were in the Christian ministry, he would have been a “vision caster.” He would have hired church consultants and looked for the people with clout and large bank accounts. But things didn’t turn out so good for Saul. Let’s compare this with the team that David formed to fulfill God’s will:

1 Samuel 22:1-2David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

Did you catch that? Who did David become leader over? The distressed? The indebted? The bitter in soul? It was from this very group of men that David’s mighty men would develop. David, a man after God’s own heart, welcomed those that society had shunned. He became captain over the ones nobody wanted. I once heard someone say that in doing God’s work, you should want the ones that nobody wants and then they will become the ones that everybody wants.