Sunday, January 6, 2008

How to Impress God

Have you every wanted to impress God? Have you thought about what you can do that would impress God? Can we impress him with our offerings? Our money already belongs to him. Can we impress him with our service? Perhaps, but it is so easy for us to fail in our service to the Lord. There is an account in the Bible that shows a person that God seems to be impressed with and it is in one of the most unlikely places.

Do you remember reading about King Ahab? If you don’t remember, he was the guy who was married to Jezebel. He was an evil guy. In describing him, the Bible states, “there was none like unto Ahab, who sold himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord.” (I Kings 21:25 KJ21) In other words, not only was he a bad guy, he was a very bad guy. There had never been a king as bad as he was.

One of the things that he did was that when Naboth refused to sell his vineyard, he had him killed in a very public and very gruesome fashion. If you read I Kings 21, you will see that it was actually Jezebel who did this, but she did it with Ahab’s knowledge, in his name and used his seal to do it. Ahab may not have gotten his hands dirty, but he was all for it.

The result of all of this was that the Lord sent Elijah to talk to Ahab, while Ahab was still in Naboth’s vineyard, taking possession of it. Through Elijah, the Lord tells Ahab, because you did this the dogs are going to lick your blood in the place where the dogs licked Naboth’s blood. Your sons will be killed and your family will be cut off. Jezebel will be killed and eaten by the dogs. Everyone in your family will either be eaten by dogs or eaten by birds. God didn’t hold any punches on this one. Ahab had gone too far and God told him that it was over.

We later see that what God said would happen is exactly what happened, but in the last part of I Kings 21 we see that Ahab humbled himself before the Lord. He rent his clothes, put on sackcloth and he fasted. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah and God says, “Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? Because he humbleth himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.”

In reading that, doesn’t it seem like God is taping Elijah on the shoulder and saying, “you’ve got to take a look at this. Look what Ahab has done.” It is similar to the statement that God mad about Job. Ahab impressed God. One of the most evil men the world has ever seen impressed God by humbling himself. Because God was impressed, Ahab was allowed to live for a while longer and he didn’t see any of his sons or Jezebel die during that time. All of that happened after Ahab’s death.

To me this says that the surest way to impress God is by humbling ourselves before him. Even an evil man like Ahab was able to impress God by humbling himself. Nothing impresses God more than when we have the proper attitude toward him. That is only possible when we humble ourselves before him. That is why that Satan, with all of his beauty and power, is unable to impress God, but sinful human who is on his knees can.