Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ships That Never Set Sail

"After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, 'Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.' Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish." 2 Chron 20:35-37 NKJV

"Jehoshaphat made merchant ships to go to Ophir for gold; but they never sailed, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber." 1 Kings 22:48 NKJV

Passages like this should not be ignored by us. They also need to be seen correctly under the new covenant. Our relationship to God is based on grace not law. God Himself is the one who has made the relationship possible and He is also the one who maintains it. Then we all also have a 'ministry' that reaches beyond to others that is in one sense an 'out growth' of our relationship with God and in other ways it stands alone once established. Our ministry does not shut on and off like a light switch. It is possible to be backslidden and still have a ministry... not recommended but possible... or have periods of being backslidden. Again, God is the one who is making the relationship and the ministry possible not us.

"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." Rom 11:29 ESV

The marriage relationship is a parallel to our relationship to God. It is not an exact equivalent but it has parallels. A woman may have a great relationship with her spouse. It may be very rich and meaningful... but no matter how rich the relationship... if she is unfaithful to him or even is flirtatious with other men it is going to cause major problems.

Jehoshaphat spent a lot of time and money on a fleet that never sailed. In the Chronicles account it links this failure directly to his relationship to wicked King Ahaziah but in the book of Kings it is just listed a detail in Jehoshaphat's personal history.

For Sampson it a period of time before he lost his eyes. How many years did it take to build those ships? Ships that would never hold gold. They would never serve the purpose they were made for. God didn't revoke Jehoshaphat's status as King but He did make sure Jehoshaphat's fleet never set sail.

Do you want that for your life? I don't want that for mine.

Holiness is not and has never been a function of the law. The rules can't make me holy and yet we must be holy in order for our ministry to be effective. We can build all we want... it is another thing to set sail.

Lust will blind you... it will destroy you. Don't be friends with it... ever. If you start getting friendly end it and burn the bridge behind you. You can find all that you need in God. Flee from the situations that would ignite your passions and run into God's arms. Taking shortcuts to have our needs met will always have dire consequences down the road.

God is ever waiting to be gracious to us. Our relationship to Him is like a garden. It is beautiful and it has fruit that both parties enjoy. If you see a plant that doesn't belong get rid of it... and make sure you get the roots that are underground as well. God has other plans for that little plot of land.

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