His Encouragement #215

Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.

For the Lord our God burst out in anger against us because you Levites were not with us the first time, for we didn’t inquire of Him about the proper procedures. So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the Ark of the Lord God of Israel. Then the Levites carried the Ark of God the way Moses had commanded according to the Word of the Lord; on their shoulders with the poles.

1 Chronicles 15:13-15 (CSB)

There are two kinds of relationships: symbiotic and parasitic.

A symbiotic relationship is a partnership. It is filled with mutual respect that leads to love. There is good, clear, established lines of communication. There are established roles that are respected, supported, and nurtured. There is a delicate balance between giving and taking. Partners in this type of relationship may not see eye to eye on every single thing, but the foundation of respect allows for civility and understanding in regards to each other’s opinions and feelings and reasonings. This is the type of relationship where the partners are in it for each other — to love, to respect, to honor, to support, and to grow. This is the ideal type of relationship.

A parasitic relationship, however, is a one-sided partnership. One partner does all the work, the sacrifice, the struggle, while the other partner takes, takes, takes. There is no mutual anything — no respect, no love, no support. One partner is dominant and the other partner is the slave. The slave’s very essence is sucked dry by the dominant partner until there is virtually nothing left. These are the saddest types of relationships.

We serve an AMAZING God. Logically, one would think that because He is the CREATOR that He would occupy the dominant side of the relationship with humans, but He doesn’t. God loves us SO much He wants us to purposely, freely choose to participate in a symbiotic relationship with Him where there is mutual respect and love and support for one another. He wants that loving give-and-take between a Husband and wife. It is my belief that God’s intention for every single human is to be in a symbiotic partnership with Him. Unfortunately, too many enter a relationship with God only to take, take, take from Him.

In the garden of Eden, God gave Adam a command: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die'” (Genesis 2:15-17 ESV). God created man, not because He needs us but because He wants us. He created Paradise so we could relationship with Him and have purpose (i.e., work the land and keep it). In Eden, He was willing to give us EVERYTHING except one thing. Just one thing. WHY? Because He is the Boss. But humans failed. We could not enter the symbiotic relationship God desired, so He had to expel us from Paradise.

But God keeps trying. In every generation, He keeps showing humans that all He wants is a real, right relationship. But there has to be rules. God is the God of Order. He is the Boss. In order to come near to Him we have to respect that He has rules. If we don’t follow the rules we will die. Nadab and Abihu learned this the hard way (Leviticus 10). So, too, did Uzzah (1 Chronicles 13). In both cases, man tried to worship God, on his own terms and turned into a crispy critter. On the one hand, Nadab and Abihu directly disobeyed God’s command for worship, but on the other, Uzzah was ignorant and had no idea what God’s rules even were. I believe in both cases, humans wanted to honor and draw close to God, but they wanted to do things THEIR way either because they thought their way was better OR they didn’t see it as disrespectful to do things the way they thought was good. They justified their way being better than God’s way.

After Uzzah dies, David gets really angry at God. But God makes it clear to David that there are rules for a reason. In 1 Chronicles 15, David understands that he did NOT respect God’s very particular stipulations for moving the Ark, and because of that someone died. David stops doing what he wants and gets everyone in line to do what God commands. The second time around is quite successful and the Ark enters Jerusalem.

The point: Time is running out. Making sure your relationship with God has to be priority number one right now. God has commands for us in regards to how we are to worship and draw near to Him. If we obey God, we have life. If we do not, we have death. It is that simple. Knowing ALL this, what kind of relationship do you have with God? Are you in relationship with God to get something out of Him, or because you truly respect and love Him? Do you obey His rules, or do things your way? How you obey God will tell you how you relate to Him. Either you respect God, His rules, and how He has asked to be worshipped, or you don’t. Remember, there is no justification for disrespecting God no matter how right your way feels.



8 thoughts on “His Encouragement #215

  1. I love this. Although I’m surprised Thursdays are a bit troublesome for you 😂
    I like Romans 8:15 AMP
    It talks about our close and familiar relationship with the Lord as our Father ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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