For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing about a trading platform in the heavenly realm where we all trade all the time, whether we realize it or not. I’ve mentioned the specific criteria given to me by Wisdom to determine whether something is a 30-fold, 60-fold or 100-fold investment and, so far, have covered these two:
1. Is It eternal or temporal?
2: Is it resonating with love, joy, peace and all the fruit of the Spirit?
Today, let’s look at criteria #3: Is it God-ordained or “good” flesh initiated? Are the things you’re investing your life in the result of obedience and the leading of Holy Spirit or are they the fruit of pride and presumption? Anything done out of obedience to God has a 100-fold value. But “good” works that are not God-initiated resonate of disobedience, even if they are sacrificial. A very obvious example of this would be acts of terrorism committed by radical religious extremists who believe they are doing these things for God. In Acts 8, we see Saul doing that very thing as he persecuted the early church. But we also see the sincerity of his heart motivation in the fact that he repented as soon as he realized his actions were offensive to God.
Another Biblical example is that of King Saul, when he disobeyed the commandment of the Lord to destroy the people and livestock of Amalek and then told the prophet Samuel that he did it so he could sacrifice to God. Unlike Saul who became Paul, King Saul refused to repent even when he was confronted, revealing the rebellion that was in his heart all along. Samuel’s response is very familiar:
Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,– I Samuel 15:22-23, NKJV
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.”
As I beheld this trading floor, I began to see that every action, feeling, motive and thought is evaluated and weighed in ways too complex for me, but in absolute justice. It almost reminded me of the way the worldly financial system calculates someone’s credit score. This sum of a life lived will determine what I then have to lay at the feet of the One who made it all possible.
We will talk about both suffering and sacrifice over the next few weeks. But both of our Biblical “Sauls” help to teach us that it is not sacrifice that pleases the Father, but rather simple, heartfelt obedience. These two men also demonstrate to us another very important principle: The heart motivation overshadows the actual activity, transforming it by way of repentance. Pause now for a moment and inquire of the Lord, “Do my actions flow from a heart of surrender or self-will?”
Pray with me, “Come now, holy fire, and burn away all the wood, hay and stubble. I choose to buy gold refined in Your fire… gold I shall lay at Your beautiful, nail-scarred feet. Amen.”
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