January 14, 2015

2 Chronicles 12:12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the Lord’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.

I have a message on tape, preached by a friend, about all the reasons to submit yourself to the Lord, and one of those reasons comes to mind here: it will save your bacon. Rehoboam and all of Judah was in genuine danger of being destroyed, and the one thing that saved them was the choice to humble themselves before the Lord. Verse 1 of this chapter records that they had abandoned the law of the Lord, and it didn’t take long for Shishak to show up. The consequences of ignoring God may be swift or they may be slow, but they can’t be avoided. There are those who deliberately disobey God, but by far the most common problem is simply leaving Him out of the equation. Society today teaches us to rely on ourselves or rely on the government, but it doesn’t teach us to rely on God. I read recently that church attendance is down, even among stronger Christians. There are so many distractions! However, honest humility will tell us we can’t get by without God, and church attendance is an open recognition of that reality. It’s not at all that we have to earn points with God by going to His house, it’s that we need all the help we can get to keep Him in focus, and regular corporate worship is invaluable for that.

I frequently point out that we can’t take a single breath without the support and grace of God. We tend to forget that, so God allows things in our lives to remind us of it. Sometimes when such things happen we try to rebuke the devil, but often enough he’s not in the picture at all. He is definitely out to steal, kill, and destroy, but he is far from omnipotent or even omnipresent. He delights to seize on and make use of our mistakes and our foolishness, but he really has no more power than we give him. Our focus needs to be on God, in full humility and gratitude. As a pastor I deal with all sorts of crazy attitudes about God. I’ve got to start by making sure my own is right, in full love, humility, and obedience. Only then will I be His instrument to dispel the clouds of misinformation and confusion that keep so many from seeing Him correctly.

Father, I am seeing this year take shape as a time when I will be speaking on a much wider scale. I’ll be speaking at a conference this Saturday, and I just got asked to speak at another church in the near future. I had expected this sort of thing 33 years ago when I came to Omura, but it didn’t happen because I wasn’t ready. Keep me from thinking for a moment even now that I can do in my own strength what You are planning, but only by Your grace and power. May I be humble and submitted enough for You to use me freely, to build up the Body of Christ and bring You glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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