Ark of the Covenant, capturing God, first generation experience, I Samuel 5:11-12, Philistines, second-hand religion, seek the Lord
The Philistines finally got what they wanted, but they did not want what they got. When they finally captured the Israeli God (the Ark of the Covenant), they were plagued with rats, tumors, and confusion. Then some ne’er-do-well looked inside the Ark and 50,000 were slain. Picture Raiders of the Lost Ark for a moment. Their only logical conclusion;
“Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, so that it will not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly confusion throughout the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. 12 And the men who did not die were smitten with tumors and the cry of the city went up to heaven. (I Samuel 5:11-12)
God cannot be captured.
- We cannot use someone else’s God or someone else’s spirituality.
- We cannot use someone’s else’s prayer life to obtain victory.
- We cannot use someone else’s Bible knowledge of God.
- We cannot use someone else’s anointing of the Holy Spirit.
- We cannot capture someone else’s power with God.
- We cannot simply reproduce someone else’s revival.
We must make up our mind to pursue our own personal relationship with the Lord and adjust our lives to meet His righteous standards.
A pastor was talking about his denomination one day. He said,
“We are now in the fourth generation of our denomination.
- The first generation generates.
- The second generation motivates.
- The third generation speculates.
- The fourth generation dissipates.
Today, we must believe God to take us back to that first generation experience with God. This is the kind of revival we need.
In America we have people who believe they can possess a second-hand religion. We watch other people worship on television and hear others preach. Yet their message goes in our ears and out without reaching our hearts. We try to reproduce or manufacture what other churches are accomplishing. Somehow we believe if we “copy” what others do, God automatically comes with the program.
These are all simple examples of people chasing after second-hand experiences. If you try to capture somebody else’s God, you are asking for trouble. This is what the Philistines did and it proved fatal.
God doesn’t want us to chase the experience, the programs, or people. The Lord wants you to seek Him and Him alone. We can’t capture God. But if we seek Him with all our hearts, He will capture us.