Monday, July 7, 2014

THE ORCHESTRATIONS OF A SPECIFIC GOD

The orchestrations of God are specific for His Glory. Christians serve and are friends with a specific God.

Some examples of God being specific with His children are -
  1. Abram's departure from home
  2. Ananias used to heal Paul
  3. Philip enlightens the eunuch
  4. Cornelius and Peter receive preparatory words
Abram's Departure From Home
In Genesis 12:1-3 The Lord tells Abram - (1) leave your country, (2) leave your people, (3) leave your father's household, and (4) go to the land I will show you. Thankfully, the Lord gives Abram the why right behind this direction. God says, (1) I will make you into a great nation, (2) I will bless you, (3) I will make your name great, (4) you will be a blessing, (5) I will bless those who bless you, (6) I will curse those who curse you, and (7) all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

Notice God does the work, He does the "making into a great nation", the "blessing", the "making the name great", the "cursing", and the causing to be a blessing. All of this because of the next nine words -
  • So Abram left, as the LORD had told him. 
Obedience. Kudos to Abram. Just because there was a plan in place does not mean it was not hard on him to follow-through. However, with a specific plan we at least know where all parties stand.
Ananias Used To Heal Paul
In Acts 9:10-12 Scripture records that - (1) God calls Ananias by name, (2) God tells whose house He wants Ananias to visit ("the house of Judas"), (3) God supplies the address ("on Straight Street"), (4) God then tells Ananias what to do at that location by supplying him with gender, hometown, name, and what his target is doing at that moment. ("ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying"), (5) God informs Ananias that Saul knows he is coming, what he is going to do, and the reason for his coming ("In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.")
Notice once again that God arranges everything and notifies Ananias that He wants to activate him into service. However, in this instance the response is not an immediate act of obedience. In fact the response is a careful pause and inquiry to the Lord about this Saul person who has been persecuting the Christians to the point of imprisonment (Acts 9:13-14).

But God is patient and understanding of Ananias and his concern and supplies a respectable answer (Acts 9:15-16). The only thing left to do for Ananias, for any of us at this point, is to "Go" or obey. Ananias did just that. Saul was healed, baptized, regained his strength and a wonderful, powerful man of God started his Christian journey (Acts 9:17-19).

Philip Enlightens The Eunuch
In the testimony of another man, Philip was in northern Israel, in the city of Samaria proclaiming the message of Christ (Acts 8:5). He was visited by an angel of the Lord who said to him - "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (Acts 8:26). The next verse is the declaration of obedience through Philip's actions and a continuation of the story -
  • So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch,.....This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. 
All Philip had to do was place one foot in front of the other - "he started out" - and God orchestrated a specific encounter that resulted in the Ethiopian eunuch becoming a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and being baptized (Acts 8:36-38). First, Philip heard the specific instruction from an angel of where to go and he began his journey. Then not long after Philip started he heard The Holy Spirit speak to him about next steps and notice what Philip's response was - "Then Philip ran...". How much more should we execute God's commands to us with haste when we hear His voice of instruction.

Cornelius And Peter Receive Preparatory Words
In Acts 10:3-6 Cornelius, a God-fearing centurion in the Italian Regiment was visited by an angel and given specific guidance to - (1) What - "send men to Joppa", (2) Why - "to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter", and (3) Where - "He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea."
Meanwhile, in Joppa, Peter has a revelation of who the Good News is for - the Clean/Unclean Vision (Acts 10:9-16). After Peter's vision and encounter with The Holy Spirit, the men from Cornelius arrive at Peter's house and because of God's specific orchestrations Peter and Cornelius meet a couple of days later with the result of Cornelius's household being saved, baptized with the Holy Spirit and with water (Acts 10:23-48).

Concluding Thoughts
The image of Father God as a puppeteer in our lives is weak. The strings are not there because we have free will. Instead God supplies strong encouragement, instruction or outright commands to move His "chess pieces" or us. The thing with God is that it is all about relationship(s). We relate to other "chess pieces" as God aligns us with them. God arranges the specific meeting and sooner or later His glory is revealed through the result.

All of the examples above showcase God's intimate involvement in the lives of people He wanted seen placed together. Abram with his land and a larger family. Ananias with Saul/Paul to provide healing and start Paul's ministry. Philip with the Eunuch to enrich the eunuch's reading of the Scriptures, which had become history. And Cornelius with Peter to supply Cornelius with the Good News of Christ and adjust a mis-perception held by Peter.

Christians have been encouraged to be specific with God, especially in prayer (Matt. 5:44; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; James 5:13-14; Matt. 6:6; Matt. 6:9; Luke 18:1). However, God is also specific with us. The reward is great and often comes in the form of a lesson in maturing in the Lord. When He is specific, we need to listen and obey for we are living with The Orchestrations Of A Specific God.

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