Summary: Are you ready to bring the presence of God back into your life, ready to be a Raider?
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Ballard Assembly Pastor Bob Briggs March 18, 2001
Throughout history there have been searches conducted for various religious relics followed by keen interest from by secular and religious people. Books, television specials and even movies have eventually resulted from either the discovery or lack of discovery in the quest. The accounts have been factual or fictional. One in particular was made into a blockbuster movie followed by a couple of money making sequels. I am talking about Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark. A network has invested in finding the ark with a special this month. People are searching, searching to find truth in this world, searching to discovery God and that is good, but sometimes the search can overshadow our finding Jesus Christ, the one true God. It is time to bring God back to man, it is time for the raiders of the lost ark of God’s covenant to rise up and seize the day.
I. I must become involved in the Quest.
David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders pf thousands and commanders of hundreds. He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our brothers throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul. The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people. 1 Chronicles 13:1-4
You might want to circle the words, the whole assembly agreed to do this. If God is going to dwell in our midst, this is what the ark represented, the presence of God, then it is not the job of the pastor or a few people we label as super saints. It is a job for all of us. The whole assembly. When Saul was in charge, they did not seek His presence.
Inside the ark was the staff which represented authority. The tablets of the law which represented the word of God, and manna which represented God’s provisions. We are in desperate need of the rod, the law and the manna today.
David was making a statement as the leader, “I don’t want things done the way Saul did them, the way of man, I want to do things differently, I want the presence of God back.”
Isn’t that what we want here, the presence of God back in the Pacific Northwest, in Seattle, in our church. When the presence comes, victory comes. What we need to say with our lives is I want God or nothing, I want the presence of Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit and I will settle for nothing less. If I have God’s presence, He will be all that I need.
II. Settle for part of God’s Presence will lead to disaster in my life.
If I have the presence of God in my life, that is all I will need. It is when we only want part, this is when the Philistines comes in. The word Philistine means “enemy of God”.
1 Samuel 4 has a prime example of this. It records, Now the Israelites went to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that it may go with us and save us from the hands of our enemies. So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Vs. 1-3
They had actually suffered two defeats so they decided it was time to bring the ark. They did not want God’s presence to lead and guide them until they were in trouble. Sound familiar?
How often does the enemy of God come and snatch away the revelation of God from us that we have just received from Him in prayer the night before? We don’t want His presence unless there is crisis it seems.
I wonder, are there any more Raiders of the Lost Ark around? Raiders who are willing to bring back the ark, to bring back the presence of God, not just for battle but for life?