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Living According to the Word of the Lord (1 Chronicles 15:13–15)

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“Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule. So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the polls, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.”
-1 Chronicles 15:13–15

There is so much to be learned and prayed through in these three verses. So this story is recounting when David was bringing the ark to Jerusalem. And we remember what happened the last time people were carrying the ark. And it started to fall and Uzzah stuck his hand out to catch it. And immediately died. And everyone of course was overwhelmed, awed, in fear of God at that moment in the days to come, to where they left the ark right there.

Are we living, thinking, desiring, speaking, loving, serving, acting, according to the rule, according to the word of the Lord?

But then David goes back and he says, “Okay, we need to bring the ark.” But he goes back to God’s word and how God had prescribed the ark to be carried. And it was supposed to be carried by the Levites in a certain way. So by certain people in a certain way. The language is, “According to the rule.” And David looks back and he says, “We did not seek God according to the rule, according to his word.” And so what he does, he calls the priests and the Levites together and says, “This is how it needs to be carried.” And the Levites carry the ark of God on their shoulders, according to the word of the Lord.

And as we read these verses, we all need to pause and ask in our lives, what are we doing? Or, what are we not doing, that is out of accord with the word of the Lord? To pause and examine our thoughts, our desires, our words, our actions, our interactions, and our relationships, and our work, and in everything in the church. Are we living, thinking, desiring, speaking, loving, serving, acting, according to the rule, according to the word of the Lord?

And to take very seriously, anyways in which we are doing any of these things, thinking, desiring, acting, speaking, whatever it might be. Anyways, we might be out of accord with God’s word, to repent, to turn from that, to take that seriously.

And so God, we pray right now in each of our lives, we pray that you would open our eyes to see anyway, every way that we might be out of accord with your rule, with your word, with your law.

God, I pray over my own heart and life right now and over every single person listening, that you would give us sensitivity to your Spirit, to hear any and every way we might be out of accord with your word. Lord, is there anything we are doing that does not accord with your word? And is there anything we’re not doing, we’re failing to do, according to your word? We pray that you would help us to live according to the rule, to think, to desire, to act, to speak, to love, to serve, to work, to do everything we do according to your word today.

Keep us captive to your word, we pray. Help us to obey you, help us to walk humbly with you, and to do your commands. We pray specifically for grace and boldness, and the empowerment of your Spirit to speak your word to others today. Help us to share the gospel with someone. We know your word says to make disciples of all the nations. Help us to make disciples today. And God, we confess as we pray so often on this podcast for unreached people around the world that we confess, we’ve not obeyed your word, we’ve not made disciples among all the nations.

We pray today for people from Bihar, India. I think about a brother I was just talking with who is regularly working in Bihar among Maithili people or Bhojpuri people. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel among just millions and millions who’ve never heard the good news of your love. God, forgive us for not living in accord with your word, your command, to do that. We pray that that would change among men, and women, and children all over Bihar. That you would use your church there, bless your church there, and send more people there for the spread of the gospel.

And God that you would show us if you’re leading us there, anywhere else, and that you would lead us today to obey your word, to make disciples, teaching others to obey every single thing you’ve commanded us. God help us in our lives, our families, and our churches to live according to the rule, according to your word. We pray this in light of 1 Chronicles 15:13–15. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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