|“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” I Corinthians 3:15 — “Many passages of Scripture teach that there is eternal accountability for temporal behavior, but possibly none quite as poignantly as I Corinthians 3. In verses 10-15 we learn that the servant of Christ must invest his life in concert with the Foundation laid by God, and that he will be judged by God on the kind of investment he makes.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt H”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter Henrichsen
“…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” I Samuel 15:22
The Ark of the Covenant, which belonged in the Holy of Holies, was housed with Abinadab when David became king. When moving the Ark, they laced it upon a cart rather than carry it, according to God’s instruction in the Law. 27 When the cart tipped, Uzzah grabbed the Ark to steady it and God struck him dead.28 God allowed for no deviation in keeping His commandments.
The Old Testament Law is filled with great detail on how things were to be done. The greater the detail, however, the greater the temptation to modify the instructions. “God doesn’t really care about the details; it is the spirit that counts,” is how you can so easily rationalize. Like Uzzah, such people frequently get into trouble with God.
In the New Testament, by and large, God does not give a great deal of detail. In rites such as baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and congregating in His name, no specifics are given. Thus we are free to improvise as we please. But instead of enjoying our freedom in Christ, we fragment over the details. Denominations come into existence over mode of baptism, the exact meaning of the bread and wine, and what we do when we congregate in His name. Unity is lost in violation of His wish that we be one.
It seems that no matter what God asks, we want to argue with Him. When He tells us that details are important, we want the freedom to improvise. When He allows improvisation, we argue over the details. If Uzzah teaches anything, it is that handling the instructions of God with frivolity is dangerous. The wise servant of God calls essential what God deems essential, and nonessential all else.
27 cf. Numbers 4:1-15
Genesis 49-50 Matthew 13:31-58 (New King James Version)
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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