“A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.” Psalms 84:10
The courts of the Lord is where you stand before Jesus. In His presence and in His service. This is the posture we are told to have in the New Testament.
“Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:26
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6
This is a picture of what it looks like (while we are in our mortal bodies) to be mindful and aware of always standing in the presence of Jesus Christ.
Do we live with this joy? The joy of being united with Him by His blood and by agency of the Holy Spirit? To be ever present before Him in His courts? It is a spiritual reality!
Do we live with that feeling, that each day while we live in Christ’s presence is better then a thousand days of our past lives?
The House of God is where you worship Jesus and abandon self.
Have you instituted that in your home? Have you made your house, the house of God?
How have you built your home? Have you based it on your own comforts, security’s and selfish wants? Or have you based it on the comfort given only by the Holy Spirit, the security found in the blood of Christ and the wants and desires of Jesus for your life?
When we fail to build our homes upon the Lord we literally are living a “good life in the homes of the wicked” That being our OWN HOME! We have the home which is owned by the wicked, being our selves.
We like to read it, deflecting it on “all the evil people out there.” It is easy to make it about foreign people with foreign problems. The grass is not all evil on the other side. You have your own weedy lawn! Your responsible for your own home, no one else’s. Your good life is the life you made. If your good life is made to please your self and not Christ then your not making Jesus the God of your life.
Your not the hero of the story—— Jesus is! Let Him into your home by removing all the pleasures of this world, forsaking self and living in worship to King Jesus.
“And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”
1 Kings 18:24
There are many false gods today: wealth, popularity, sex, drugs, admiration and worship of others etc., etc.
None of these will sustain us in our needs or rescue us from our dead-end lives. All they do is increase our death drive. All they do is increase our hunger and thirst for that which does not satisfy.
In 1 Kings Chapter 18 we find the story of Elijah and his challenge to the prophets of Baal.
The prophets of Baal called and called, begged and pleaded to their false god. He gave no answer.
“They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.” – 1 Kings 18:29
On the flip side, The One True God answered in fire and in power:
“Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!– 1 Kings 18:38
This passage testifies with evidence to the legitimacy of The One True God. The Living God comes in Fire and power!
He answered Elijah that way. He came upon the early disciples on the day of Pentecost in this way; with fire and power! Baptizing them with the Holy Spirit.
He comes upon all believers in the same way.
This is the evidence of God in every believers life: Fire and Power.
The fire of the Holy Spirit manifests it’s self in peculiar ways at times.
Jasmin said something to me once, along these lines, “If you are not involved in the Church, all this stuff would seem weird. We must look like mad men to those looking in on this” (paraphrase)
Does the power of God look strange to those on the outside looking in? Yes it does!
Does the fire of God manifest itself in strange ways at times? For sure!
So how are these things not strange to believers? What makes the difference?
Relationship and revelation.
There are several ways that one can react to God’s manifest power.
The people who gathered on that hill with Elijah saw the fire of heaven fall down. Many of those present reacted to this fire by following Elijah as he put to death the prophets of Baal. (verses 39 & 40)
King Ahab reacted by running back to his wife Jezebel with his tail between his legs. He told her what had happened and together they plotted Elijah’s death. (1 Kings 19:1-2)
Some reacted to the power they saw that day by acknowledging that Yahweh was truly God. (Revelation)
Some reacted to the power they witnessed with fear and anger. Fearful, that THERE IS INDEED A TRUE GOD; angry that their false gods were exposed for what they were. Angry that their prophets (keepers of their lies and falsehoods) were slaughtered.
It is the same today. One can see the Holy Spirit move in mighty miracles and react in fear and anger.
Many of those who violently oppose the teachings of Jesus fall into this camp. Many others who claim to be Christians are guilty of the same fear and anger. They discount the works of the Holy Spirit because they would rather make an idol out of a book so they can use it to control and manipulate others.
They are fearful of a Living and Active God. They are angry that He would dare move apart from their say so. If the Bible can be used as a static object, rather than “living and active”, then it can be dissected and misinterpreted to give men power over others.
When the God of the Bible shows up in power, this disrupts these leader’s “teaching” and exposes them as the charlatans that they are. Their natural response to these disruptions (the power of the Holy Spirit) is fear and anger. This is the same religious spirit that moved in King Ahab and Jezebel, the same religious spirit that moved within the Pharisees and Sadducees who put Jesus to death.
Some of those who witnessed the fire of God fall upon Elijah’s sacrifice continued on in their sin and pride while others humbled themselves and submitted and committed their lives to the One True God (Relationship).
“And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”– 1 Kings 18:39
And God told Elijah, “... yet I will preserve 7000 others in Israel who have never bowed to Baal or kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)
How will you react to the Living God today? How will you react to His calling, to His power?
The Holy Spirit falls in fire on the sacrifice of obedience. He consumes the sacrifice presented.
In Elijah’s day the sacrifice was the flesh and blood of bulls and goats. On the day of Pentecost it was the living sacrifice of the early believers. In both cases the fire of the Holy Spirit fell when the followers of the One True God responded in obedience.
Jesus is calling you into relationship with Himself. He died on the cross to purchase your freedom. To free you from the false gods you have aligned yourself with. He died so that you can come into relationship with Him. He rose again so His power can live within you and flow through you.
Jesus is acting right now for your benefit. He is drawing you close to Himself so you can become who He created you to be. Jesus works in power to draw all of His lost children back to Himself.
This is the character of Father God.
How you respond to this fire is your choice. How you respond to the revelation of Jesus is your choice! You can react in fear and anger or you can react by coming into relationship with the One True God—- Jesus Christ!
The Spirit of God falls like fire on those who are open to Him. He will consume you with fire and power if you call upon His name and obediently submit your life to Him as a living sacrifice.
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“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
To live you must die. To be born again you must allow your flesh to die.
To be alive in Christ you must be dead to your self.
“But this is not the way of life that Christ has unfolded within you. If you have really experienced the Anointed One, and heard his truth, it will be seen in your life; for we know that the ultimate reality is embodied in Jesus!
And he has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self – life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. Now it’s time to be made new by every revelation that’s been given to you.And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness.”