Point of No Return

“Then the LORD said to me: ‘Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My heart would not go out to this people. Send them from My presence, and let them go. If they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you are to tell them that this is what the LORD says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword; those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity.'” (Jeremiah 15:1-2 Berean Study Bible)

I did a doubletake reading this Scripture when I saw it said, “Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before me, My heart would not go out to this people.” Moses and Samuel were both prophets of God. They were two of the greatest prophets amongst the other prophets we see in the Scriptures. The people of Judah had come to the point of no return.

Not even Moses or Samuel would have been able to intercede for the people of Judah at this point. Judah had abandoned God and traded God for the religious systems of men, had adopted the culture of pagan nations, and worshipping the idols/gods of the nations around them. Jeremiah had already been told “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster, ” (Jeremiah 11:14BSB).

Intercession for the people of Judah would have been rendered ineffective even if Moses and Samuel were standing before God interceding on their behalf. God wasn’t even listening to the people of Judah cry out to Him because they only cried out to Him when they were in trouble. God was angry and told Jeremiah, “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to bring upon them a disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they have been burning incense, but these gods certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, O Judah; the altars of shame you have set up—the altars to burn incense to Baal—are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.” (Jeremiah 11:11-13) They didn’t commune with God. They were committing the act of spiritual adultery, acting as prostitutes giving themselves away to every pagan deity and were told by God through the prophet Jeremiah “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!” (Jeremiah 2:33BSB) They had no shame and could not even blush anymore. They flagrantly flaunted their spiritual adultery and their idolatry in the face of God.

GOD DOESN’T PLAY GAMES. God warned them over and over again, but the stench of their sin had risen up before Him, and they were only sorry they had gotten caught in their sin. They were not repentant for their sins of abandoning God and trading Him in for the religious systems of man, their spiritual adultery, and their idolatry.

This cannot get more sobering than this statement made to Jeremiah by God, “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster.” Will you allow yourself to be found in the same spiritual condition as the people of Judah? Would God tell someone not to pray for you?

THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING GOD. I will be saying that until there is no longer breath in my body. There is no neutral ground when it comes to serving the Lord. CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

We have been chosen by Christ to go and bear fruit. Every tree that does not bear fruit will be chopped down and burnt up (Matthew 3:10, 7:19).

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:4-6NLT)

Remember God does NOT bless a life of disobedience, but He does bless a life of obedience. He lavishes grace and mercy upon His children who are loving Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Favor is the shield around His children.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Repent so you are not found in the same position as the people of Judah. God had enough of their foolish behavior. Do NOT bring God to the point where God tells someone not to pray for you anymore because of your stubborn, hardened, and calloused heart. There is a time when God says, “Enough” as we have seen here with Jeremiah.

There is no neutral ground when it comes to God. You are either on God’s side or you’re not. You cannot claim to live for God and love the things of this world; in other words, you cannot be a friend of God if you are a friend of the world. The God of the Old Testament is still God in the New Testament. God promises restoration, hope, and healing for those who are truly repentant with contrite hearts, those who recognize their need of the one and only Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the One and Only God. You are the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. No one compares to You. You are sovereign and holy, and You do not share Your glory with another. Father, I will seek Your righteousness first and I will follow Your ways. I will obey Your commands and cling tightly to Your truth. I choose to serve You and You alone. Thank You for being my God and my Father. Thank You for Your instruction and Your discipline. Thank You for choosing me to go and bear fruit. Be with me as I follow Your commands and seek out Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Don't Be Chaff

“But not the wicked!  They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.  They will be condemned at the time of judgment.  Sinners will have no place among the godly.  For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” -Psalm 1:4-6 NLT

Are you the chaff or are you the grain?

Chaff is the husk, outer shell of the grain, and it goes through a process of threshing (getting the edible part of the grain loosened, a separating of the valuable kernel of grain from the outer shell) and winnowing (tossing the grain in the air to separate the inedible chaff from the edible grain).  What is the difference between the kernel of grain and the chaff?  The grain is useful and valuable.  However, the chaff is worthless and is of no use to anyone or anything.  The chaff and the grain are tossed in the air, the chaff is very light and is blown in every direction by the slightest wind.  In other words, the chaff has no direction, no substance, and is no good to eat.

Each of us has been designed with purpose and significance.  However, not every person, who has been designed with purpose and significance, will choose to walk in the purpose and step into the destiny that God has for them.  EACH OF US HAS A CHOICE IF WE WILL WALK IN THE PURPOSE GOD HAS DESIGNED US FOR.  We will either choose to be chaff or grain.

As children of God we have been chosen by Christ to go and bear fruit as we see in John 15:16 which states, “You didn’t choose me.  I chose you.  I appointed you to go and produced lasting fruit…”

How do you know whether you are the chaff (wicked)?“But not the wicked!  They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.” The chaff in this verse are those who are wicked, those who do not follow the ways of God, those who are living for themselves, those who treat what is holy as common, and those who are indifferent to the things of God.  The chaff are those who are “Sinners” and “will have no place among the godly.  For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.”

How do you know if you are the grain (godly)?  If you are the grain, then you do NOT take counsel from those who are the chaff (wicked).  You do NOT entertain mockers or scoffers or those who practice a life of sin (unrepentant life of any sin).  You delight yourself in His instructions and His laws.  You reflect on God and His ways and seek to do what pleases Him day and night.  You walk in obedience because you love Him.  Because you are grain, you are what Psalm 1:3 says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

Today is the day to choose because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow:  “CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.” Being the grain or being the chaff is a matter of spiritual life or death.  Be like Joshua when he said, “But as for me and as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD “

No one can make the choice for you or me.  Each of us is responsible before God as to how we live whether we live for God or whether we live for self.  All is exposed before the eyes of God.  CHOOSE you this day whom you will serve.

May each of us resolve before God to live uprightly before Him, to be righteous and holy, to be the grain and not the chaff.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” -John 15:1-3 NLT

Linda A. Knowles

Your Choice: Rebellion or Humility?

“But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting, and the Lord said to Moses, ‘Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.’ And they fell facedown.” -Numbers 16:42-45(NLT)

Let’s begin with this:  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being ambitious.  The problem is in the motive and intention of that ambition especially when mixed with greed.
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram had seen for themselves the benefits of the Egyptian priesthood -Wealth, position, leadership, prestige, influence in politics, and the like.

Rather than understanding that God Himself chose the Levites, they decided to go against Moses as shown in the account in Numbers 16:1-3(NLT), “One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron and said, ‘You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?'”

Korah and his followers felt they should be upheld like the Levites.  They wanted the power.  They were greedy and wanted to appoint themselves.  Moses had done nothing wrong.  The Levites had done nothing wrong.  Moses and the Levites were doing the task God had called them to do.  They were doing what God had anointed them to do.  The Levites were responsible for the spiritual leadership and the teaching of God’s laws.  It wasn’t that the Levites and Moses were held above everyone else. They simply were set apart from the rest of the people and were consecrated to God for His service.  God raised them up to positions of leadership for the great nation of Israel.  Korah and his followers did not recognize that.  What they saw was what was in it for them.  They wanted what the Levites had.  They wanted the position Moses had.  They were greedy and failed to realize that God is the One who appoints people to leadership.  Korah and his followers’ greedy ambition was not godly; it was downright evil.

Moses’ ambition was to do what God wanted.  Moses’ ambition was to serve God.  Moses did not have the ambition to control people or lord his leadership over others.  Moses simply was a servant of God, that God called out in order to lead the children of Israel.  He was devoted to God.  Moses’ ambition was a good ambition.

There is no room for greed when you are aservant of the Most High God.

In this passage (Numbers 16:8-11NLT), Korah’s motives are exposed, “Then Moses spoke again to Korah: ‘Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them? Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?'”


God doesn’t play games, and His desire is that the Body of Christ understand that all parts are necessary.  We are called to use our gifts and talents.  God has anointed each of us for a particular position or place within the body.  It’s not about us.  It’s about God and where He has put us at this place in time.  We are not to be like Korah and his followers, trying to overthrow others out of their position because we are greedy for power or envy another’s position as leaders.  Leadership is ultimately about servanthood.  Each of God’s children are servants of the Most High God, and we are to conduct ourselves in accordance with the Word of God.

What are your motives for desiring a position of leadership? THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE YOU ARE MODELING FOR WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT. That point cannot be emphasized enough. What example are you setting for others around you?  You do not have to have the position of pastor or teacher, parent, or some other authoritative position.  There is someone always watching what you say and how you conduct yourself.  This is why it is so important to make sure we are right with God so that those we model for do not stumble because of us.  We must be living what we preach and teach.  We cannot live our lives in a state of rebellion.

Don’t be like Korah and those who followed his example of rebellion.  It didn’t end well for Korah and his followers as recorded in Numbers 16:28-35(NLT), “And Moses said, ‘This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord.’  He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned.  So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel.  All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. ‘The earth will swallow us, too!’ they cried.  Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.”


The line has been drawn in the sand.  Will you choose to serve God or will you choose to live in opposition to God?  Might I suggest you choose to serve God and to do so wholeheartedly?  Complacency and indifference toward God is not acceptable nor pleasing in the sight of God.

Live your life to influence others for God.
Don’t let the world influence you.
 

For those who choose to serve God and continue to live for Him, they will live a life of blessing and enjoy true joy and peace that comes from God alone.

Rebellion will only cause you problems, and rebellion will only bring about the consequences of sin which is destruction.   Remember it is not a title or position that elevates you.  When you walk in a spirit of humility before God, God is the One Who will lift you up.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time,” (1 Peter 5:6).  

PRAYER Heavenly Father, there is no one like You for You are the Eternal God who reigns in majesty.  My desire is to please You in all that I do and say so that I might be able to influence others for You.  Help me to always remember that there is nothing worth losing my soul for, and help me to stand firm that I don’t let the world influence me.  May I constantly be reminded that You require me to walk humbly before You, to love mercy, and to act justly because that is good.  Father, let me be a beacon of light for You in this dark world.  Teach me Your ways so I might not rebel like Korah and his followers, and let me be able to lead others to You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles