Do You Agree
Amos the prophet ministered to the king’s of Israel and Judah at the same time. In both, Israel & Judah, the people of God were being consumed by idolatry, materialism and corruption. These behaviors were the result of their continued turning of their hearts from God. But I find it interesting that as they turned from God, they continued to carry out religious “rituals”, symbolic of their faith in God. They still gave offerings, sang worship songs, made sacrifices, held feasts, and gathered together for services, but, none of this religious activity equated to actual relationship with God. They simply were doing what they always did, except their hearts were no longer connected to what they were not directed toward God while they were doing it. Perhaps among themselves they looked and even believed they were being holy, but God knew He was not the true object of their affection. In fact, this is how God viewed their religious activities:
I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offering and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. Amos 5:21-23
Those are pretty extraordinarily strong statements of God’s displeasure for Israel. Here is what they mean: God wants our heart aligned with His. See, they had begun replacing their relationship with God with their relationship with their “stuff”. Hence, they were being identified by their idolatry, materialism and corruption instead of as people belonging to God.
In Amos’ sharp correction to Israel he asks a question in Amos 3:3 that I want to leave us to meditate on today: Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?
Here is what the question is asking, can two (you and God) be going in the same direction without agreeing to go in the same direction. If God wants one thing and we want or do another, isn’t that a problem? Think about your relationship with any person that you know or interact with. Perhaps you have been in situations where you have had to just get along with people, like a spouse or a boss, but you really didn’t agree with them? Or, maybe you have been in situations where you don’t get along with someone because you don’t agree.
Well, of course, neither of those are how we want to relate to God. And even greater, that is not how God wants us to be in relationship with Him.
The point Amos is sharing is that we can’t walk with God and not be living yielded to the direction He is going in. If God is going one way and we are moving another, or not moving at all, we are not in agreement with God. We, like Israel, hear from God, He speaks of His plans for us, He gives us our direction in life and He expresses His desire for our heart to be yielded to Him, yet, if we choose to walk our own way we then are left to bear our own burdens.
So, here is just a quick self-check. See how many of the following things that God says about you do you agree with:
• The Lord is my Shepherd - Psalms 23
• I am fearfully and wonderfully made - Psalms 139:14
• The Lord renews strength to the weary and the faint - Isaiah 40:31
• He won’t leave me nor forsake me - Deuteronomy 31:6
• I am not condemned - Romans 8:1
• I am God’s temple - 1 Corinthians 3:16
• I am dead to sin and alive to righteousness - Romans 6:5-11
• I have escaped the corruption of this world - 2 Peter 1:3-4
This list can go on for quite some time, these are just a few of my own personal favorites. The point is that in scary times like these agree with God. He has a plan and a direction for your life. Regardless of how long you have been in church, or knowing God, determine today, not to allow fear or anger or anything to cause you to substitute your relationship with God for religious looking activity that has no meaning.
Members and Friends of LongView, you can support the continued ministry work of LongView Bible Church on line at longviewbible.org or via mail: LongView Bible Church, PO Box 86, Owings Mills, MD 21117
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