Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WITH ALL THEIR HEART

God makes certain, special promises to those who determine to seek Him with all their hearts. One such promise is a covenant of His presence.

However, this covenant is strictly conditional. Scripture makes it clear that if we abide by the rule of this covenant, we will enjoy the incredible blessing of God's presence in our lives. And this does not refer only to issues of salvation. It speaks of being such seekers after God that His awesome presence is poured out on us and it is seen and known by all.

God revealed this covenant of His presence through an unnamed prophet who delivered a message to Eli, the high priest of Israel. At the time, Eli was backslidden. The Lord had been speaking to him, warning him against allowing sin and compromise. But Eli had ignored all of God's words. Now this unnamed prophet said to Eli, "The Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed" (I Samuel 2:30).

The phrase "lightly esteemed" has to do with the lifting of God’s presence. This does not mean a person is damned, but rather that he will have to walk in the power of his own flesh. God was telling Eli, "I intended to bless your house, to favor you. But you have scorned me, becoming soft on sin and allowing your lusts to push me aside. Now I will take My presence from you."

Many people come to Christ with a great, initial burst of faith. Yet over time their zeal wears thin, and they begin to neglect the Lord. They “lightly esteem” His commands and turn back to their old, sinful ways. Yet they still believe God's presence remains with them. But that is a lie, a delusion. The Bible makes it clear that if you forsake Him, He will forsake you!