Relationship Building

Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord… So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight, for they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt.      1 Samuel 2:12, 17 (NLT)

Eli’s sons were priests in the House of the Lord.  Eli had taught his sons the rituals from an early age.  Eli’s sons knew about God but they did not know Him.  Hophni and Phinehas embraced the deception that since they had the High Priest for a father and were priests themselves, that they had all they needed.  They knew the rituals.  They knew how to work the system and get what they wanted.  They did not know God.  They did not know His character.

But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)

The gifts of the Spirit, the anointing of God, and even pastoral (evangelistic, prophetic, etc.) authority can be given by the laying on of hands.  But nowhere in the Old Testament or the New Testament does it say that God’s character can be imparted by the laying on of hands.  There is no short cut to knowing God!  It is not something that you have because your mother has it or your father spoke to you about it. Knowing God is like any other relationship, you must put the time and effort in personally to make it occur.

There are some days that I think that I cannot squeeze one more thing into my day. There are demands that come at me from every side. Some of those demands are – legitimate. My boss expects me to do the job that I have made a commitment to do and, in turn, I get a paycheck. These days, many people have 2 or 3 jobs. Family expects me to give them time. My relationship with them will suffer if I do not put time and effort into it. How do I make it all work?

Eli’s sons wanted short cuts.  They wanted to have all the blessings and ‘perks’ of being a priest in the House of God without knowing who they served and representing Him in Spirit and Truth.  Their sin “was very serious in the LORD’S sight”.

No matter how I may want to finesse the hours or justify it in my mind, my life is about priorities. If it is important to me, I will make time to do it. I may need to get up a bit earlier to start my day with Jesus. I may need to walk away from the TV at night to spend some quiet time with Jesus in the evening. I can close the door on my office at noon so Jesus and I can have lunch together. If I want my children to make good choices then they need to know that my relationship with Jesus has the top priority in my life. There are no shortcuts.

This life is promised to have troubles (John 16:33). When that trouble comes, I do not want to wonder where my help will come. Troubled times is not the time to also build a relationship. Know that Jesus is there and know His power to overcome. Today is a good day to make my commitment.

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