Monday, April 2, 2012

Set His Face toward Jerusalem, or Digging In

2 Kings 12:17-18

King James Version (KJV)
 17Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.
 18And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.

Set His Face Toward Jerusalem, or Digging In

This phrase occurs twice in the Bible...the passage above and the passage related to Jesus' passion.  Both speak of a man committed toward an invasion.

In this first passage, Hazael, the king of Syria, means to invade Jerusalem. Jehoash takes desperate action to protect the city....he takes the precious things, the things consecrated to God and sends them to the invader in hopes of defending the city.  He doesn't remember the Passover teachings, he doesn't remember that the temple at Jerusalem belongs to God...he acts in a way that seems right to him to do what he thinks is best.

And it works, for a time.  Hazael takes the treasure and goes home, only to return and take the kingdom.  Israel ended up under the rule of Syria for the reign of Hazael and for his son.

And we still do it today.  Far too often, we take the treasures God has given us, our talents, our money, our families, and we just give them to the world.  No fight.  No confidence in the promises of God.  We just give them up in hopes of avoiding poverty, being shunned, sickness.

Forgetting all the time that we have been redeemed...that we are the care and concern of the Almighty God who wouldn't even withhold the blood of His own Son to keep us.

We haven't dug in.

Hazael had a plan. He was going to Jerusalem.  He had already made up his mind.  God Himself testified that when the people are of one mind that nothing can be withheld from them (Genesis 11:6).  I know I have many experiences in my life and I'm sure you do in yours of when we set our minds toward something, its just a matter of time before it happens.

Maybe it was weight loss, maybe it was completing a degree...finding a lost relative...getting promoted.  Whatever it is we put our mind to, it happens in no small part because we've made up our minds.

We've dug in.

This was never on greater display than in the life of Jesus.  He made up His mind to do the will of the Father, completely and thoroughly.  He wasn't dismayed by the betrayals, the two-faced actions, the plots.  He wasn't even deterred by the reality of the cross.  Oh, He prayed for an alternative, but accepted the Father's will.

He made up His mind.  He dug in.

Jesus was intent on an invasion.  He wasn't concerned with the city...that was a means to an end.  He wanted to invade the hearts of men, all men.  Everyone that has ever lived, or that ever will live.  You and me.  It was a personal invasion.

Dear ones, as the Holy Spirit told us through Paul, Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5)...set your face toward Jerusalem, toward peace, toward the very peace of God.  It is a matter of will.  It is a choice.  We have been given promises that exceed the imagination.  We have been given assurances that were paid in blood.  Nothing the Father intends toward us can be stopped, except that we refuse delivery.

The question is, are we dug in?  Is your face set toward Christ?  Or are we gathering the gifts of God to spread at the enemy's feet in the hope of avoiding destruction...all to willing to give up before we even let the Master fight?  A fight that has already been won by Christ.

Set your face toward Christ.  In Him, no weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

He set His face toward you.

Luke 9:51-56

King James Version (KJV)
 51And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
 52And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
 53And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
 54And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
 55But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
 56For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

This is Holy Week.  Yesterday was Palm Sunday...the day Jesus was received into Jerusalem with celebration.  He was hanging on a cross less than a week later.

If you haven't been to your church lately, make a new commitment this week.  If you don't have a church home, we have room for you at Fellowship.  The place we have for you isn't a single event.  We want to walk with you, watch and encourage you as you grow in Christ.  We are in place to make disciples.  Won't you give us the privilege of showing you The Way?

Welcome home.

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Fellowship Church
Where Passions Become Reality
Because You Are a Chosen Generation

455 Hwy 138 W. Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30238
Between GA Hwy 85 and US 19/41
Across from EJ Swint Elementary School

Church Website -

770-573-9339 Phone
770-574-4967 Fax

Alton Watkins, Pastor