April 15

A number of years ago, we served on a pastoral staff in Maryland with Dr. Shelton Smith. He had a great influence on our lives and our ministry. We moved to Maryland with a three-month-old baby girl, and planned to stay for about a year. We were praying and planning to go to the mission field, and thought that a year at this church would help us get experience. God had other plans. We ended up staying at this church for ten-and-a-half years! God blessed us with three more children while we were there. We gained ministry experience in many different facets of the ministry.

One of the things that Pastor Smith said frequently was … “Stay under the spout where the blessings come out.” I don’t know that he is the originator of that saying, but he used it enough that I think of him every time I say it. Our director, Ted Camp has reminded me multiple times that God is richly blessing our ministry. He tells me often, don’t change anything that would remove you from the place of God’s blessing. Both men are echoing the same idea, and I saw it today in the passage I read in II Samuel.

The story in II Samuel 6 is a story of disaster followed by blessing. The disaster came when a man named Uzzah put his hand out to steady the ark of the covenant. The ark was being transported on a cart pulled along my oxen. God had instructed them to carry the ark with staves that were permanently affixed to the ark on either side. The ark was a sacred piece of furniture, and was not to be touched. When Uzzah touched it, he was instantly killed. King David was fearful, and sent the ark to the home of a Gittite named, Obed-edom.

There is an interesting verse that simply states, “And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his household” (II Samuel 6:11). Obed-edom found the spout where the blessing came out. When the ark of the covenant was in his home (the ark represented the presence of God), there was blessing that followed to him and his family. The same is true for us today. If we will stay in the presence of God today, we will experience the same blessings that Obed-edom experienced.

We don’t need a piece of furniture today to have the presence of God. We have the Word of God … we have prayer … and we have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within us. Today I want to encourage you to spend time in the Word of God. Spend time in prayer with your Heavenly Father. Last, yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit today. Stay where the blessing comes out!

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