Saturday, February 25, 2012

1 Chronicles 26 - The Gatekeepers and Order in the Spirit

LINK: 1 Chronicles 26 (listening by audio is a totally acceptable way to read your Bible and much easier when lots of names are involved!)

BACKGROUND

The temple had 4,000 gatekeepers (23:4,5) who were Levites. They guarded the four main entrance to the temple and opened the gates each morning for those who wanted to worship. In addition, some of the other duties included 1) checking out and keeping track of equipment and utensils that were used each day, 2) storing, ordering, and maintaining food for the priests and sacrifices, 3) caring for temple furniture, 4) mixing incense, and 5) counting gifts.

REFLECTION

Who would have thought that God would have spoken to me in the midst of lists of priests, singers, and gatekeepers this week, but He did! I am so impressed with God's order in all things, and how he used David to administer order in the temple. It helped me with some questions I had about order versus the Spirit's leading.

I had a hard day yesterday because I perceived I was being "put down" for wanting to get some order and dates on the calendar regarding a project that I was doing with another person. The response back was something to the effect that "we just need to let the Spirit lead." I thought, "Well, just because I want to get a date on the calendar and a delineation of duties does not mean that I do not want the Spirit to lead, does it? God likes it when things are done in order, right? It was a very simple question to this person about logistics, and it became what I perceived to be a "pat on the head" to follow the Spirit! It left me wigged out for a few hours. Maybe my organized personality is not of God??????? Can't I be organized AND follow the Spirit?

Then I spent time in 1 Chronicles and saw the beautiful order and division of the duties in the temple. Following my reading, I noticed this footnote in my Life Application Bible:
"The temple service was highly structured, but this did not hinder the Spirit of
God. Rather, it provided an orderly context for worship. (Compare 1 Corinthians
14:40 [But let everything be done in a fitting and orderly way]) Sometimes we
feel that planning and structure are unspiritual activities that may hinder spontaneity in worship. But order and structure can free us to respond to God. Order brings glory to God as we experience the joy, freedom, and calm that come when we have wisely prepared in advance" (p. 701).
God spoke through the wisdom of those words! Of course, I'm not talking about being like Rabbit in Winnie-the-Pooh who was rigid and always maintaining his "schedule." I'm talking about HIS schedule for our lives that is full of joy, freedom, and calm as we listen to Him for the direction of our days!

APPLICATION

"But let everything be done 
in a fitting and orderly way" 
(1 Corinthians 14:40).

How is the order of your life? Are your priorities in order? Is your physical world in order? Does your home and life run with joy, freedom, and calm because you are wisely preparing in advance?

PRAYER

Lord, You are not a God of chaos but of order. Help our lives to be run and orchestrated by You. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.
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