O Father, my heart is yearning for more time with you after Pastor Jon's message last night, at Home Fellowship.
He spoke about Amos 8:11, "That in the last days there will be a famine of hearing the words of the LORD." (Plural) Not preaching and teaching the Word, because we can hear the Word Sundays and Wednesdays, on the internet, on ipods, on TV, at seminars and conferences--we have as much of the Word as we want. But it's Your words we're not hearing, Lord.
You show me that we come to church desiring to worship and give offerings and to hear Your heart, but our lives are still a mess. Nothing we try seems to work; we are restless and weary and we wonder, why? Our marriages are the same as the worlds'. We can't understand each other. Our kids are struggling with life.
Are we in captivity?
In Amos 5:21-27, God says, "I hate, I despise your feast days and I do not savor your sacred assemblies....though you offer offerings to Me, I will not accept them...Take away the noise of your songs....did you not offer Me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness?....You also carried.....your gods and idols, which you made for yourselves. Therefore I will send you into captivity, says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts."
Psalm 106:13-15 They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel. But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.
Do we think we are any different?
We can't hear His words to us. We have so many gods (distractions) to keep us from Him. Do we think gods and idols are only statues put on a shelf? They are whatever keeps us from coming to His throne. The stores are full, the TV is full, magazines, books and novels, music, lusts for other things, cares for this world. Where can we go next, what can we buy next, what can we make next, hours of TV, (who's on Larry King tonight), on and on. Constant noise.
Then reading in 1 Kings 10:1-13 and 2 Chr. 9:1-12 today You added even more, LORD.
The queen of Sheba came to Solomon because she had heard of his fame and his relation to the name of the LORD. She came with hard questions and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all of her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had made, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, "'Your achievements and wisdom are true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed not even half was told me of your wisdom and wealth...how happy your men and officials must be who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom. Praise be to the LORD your God!' King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left & returned to her own country."
In Matthew 12:42 Jesus said, "The queen of the south,(Sheba), will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here." Commentaries say she may have come from southern Arabia--a 1200-mile camel ride across hot deserts.
Yet we can't even get up an hour or two early to come and lay before Your feet, to seek Your words. To talk with You about all that is on our minds, to ask You the hard questions and to bring You gifts of praise and adoration for all You've done. We can't see that only half was told us of Your wisdom and wealth, until we come and see with our own eyes.
Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Have you come and laid in His presence lately? Maybe you don't feel worthy enough to see yourself laying before His throne. Try picturing yourself laying under the cross first, with His blood dripping down upon you, cleansing and forgiving you. Then come and bring your gifts of praise and see what He has from His royal bounty for you.