Ichabod

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Ichabod

Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:11-12

Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 1 Samuel 4:21

Since Satan is the great deceiver and even Christians can be deceived it is possible and it happens to men that they are deceived and led away from the truth without knowing it. If the person being deceived knew they were being deceived, then deception would not have occurred. One must believe that one is not deceived in order to be deceived. It is just that simple.

And Christians get deceived with they put their own perspective on things instead of God’s and when they seek their own kingdom instead of God’s! The word of God tells us in Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.  So what may seem right, can lead to death because the consequence of sin is death.  In other words a Christian can be confident that he or she is serving the Lord when he is actually deceived. This is because what we do things that “seems to be right” in our eyes.

It is a very sad thing when the glory of God has departed due to deception or willful sin from a person, a church or a denomination.  Just because a person or a group of people started out serving God, being led by the Holy Spirit and continuing  in His Word,  doesn’t mean they will not fall away or be deceived when God’s blessings will be abundant and they begin to rely on their own strength, wisdom and power rather than God’s strength, wisdom or power.  Yet God’s word is unchanging:

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.   Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,  and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.  Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;  lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.  For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Hebrews 12:11-16

The word of God tells us the God’s chastening is profitable only for those who have been trained by it and not for those who reject it by not strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,  and making  straight paths for their feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Those who don’t pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord will find themselves in places they never expected to be along with those who have fallen short of the grace of God; allowing  root of bitterness springing up causing trouble, and by this many become defiled; becoming  fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright and  afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

In the world and in Christian ministry and churches power and greed do corrupt even pastors who forgot when they came from. They were once nothing or a nobody and God again can make them to be a nothing or nobody by turning the church into a corporation. And operating like a corporation not a church.  As a result their members of their church corporation become more loyal to a man than to the Jesus Christ and spirituality turns into carnality. And carnality that is further driven by the obsession for power, position and possession often is the perfect recipe for disaster causing the Spirit to depart and deceiving demons to take its place.  God’s word is true:

And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. 1 Samuel 16:8-14

Yes the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.” Men forget the story of Samson. Once empowered by the Spirit there came a time when the LORD departed from him and Samson was not even aware that it happened (Judges 16:20). When the Spirit of God departs we no longer have real life but death and it’s only a question of time when the death will manifest itself to all! God’s word is unchanging:

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘   These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Revelations 3:1-6

The church in Sardis had a name that it was alive but in reality it was dead. The Spirit of God had departed from their midst.  Instead of overcoming all things they were overcome and needed to “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.”  And now Jesus warned them that He would blot the name of all the individual members  of the church in Sardis who had defiled their garments and were overcome!

Yes God has no great love or respect for losers when He made them to be winners and His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4).

It’s not wonderful thing to be a hollow shell of what used to be full of life or Ichabod just because some people were deceived by the deceiver!  But God’s word is unchanging:

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.   So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;  for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:16-27

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