“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Overturning the Oxcart, by Randall D. Kittle


While I was worshiping, the Lord spoke to me saying, “Tell the Church it is time to overturn the oxcarts in their midst. Their desire to usher in My presence by using the ways of man instead of My prescribed ways is detestable in My sight.”

In the book of First Chronicles we find the story of King David wanting to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem.
“‘Let us bring the ark of our God back to us’ … The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people” (1 Chronicles 13:3-4). The Ark had been at the house of Abinadab for many years, bringing them great blessing and prosperity. So David and a great host of people came to celebrate the return of the Ark (which literally and symbolically represented the presence of God). “They moved the ark of God from Abinadab's house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it. David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, cymbals and trumpets” (1 Chronicles 13:7-8).

Everything seemed to be going like clockwork until they reached Kidon.
“When they came to the threshing floor of Kidon, Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God” (1 Chronicles 13:9-10). This, of course, brought the partying processional to a screeching halt — all the instruments were silenced and all the dancing stopped. This good man Uzzah died, and he was struck down for simply trying to keep the Ark of God from falling. The crowd went from celebration, to devastation, to disillusionment. “David was afraid of God that day and asked, ‘How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?’” (1 Chronicles 13:12). They were so filled with fear that they did not bring the Ark to Jerusalem, but left it at the nearest home, that of Obed-Edom.

Though David's heart was devastated by the death of Uzzah, after a pause of about three months his mission to bring the Ark to Jerusalem was resumed. This time, however, he took the time to discover the cause of the painful catastrophe that marred the first attempt, and made certain that everything was done properly.
“After David had constructed buildings for himself in the City of David, he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said, ‘No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever. … It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the Lord our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way’” (1 Chronicles 15:1-2 & 13).

Great desire for God and His presence is to be much admired and commended, but it is also important that we do things
“the prescribed way” — God's way! Much of what is done in the typical church gathering has more to do with manipulating people's emotions or appealing to their intellect than ushering in the Lord's presence. Many conferences have little to do with seeking a true visitation of the presence of God, and more with making everyone feel important and empowered. There are many large "Christian" ministries whose techniques seem more like corporate America than New Testament Christianity. They may have a number of “big-name” speakers and an advisory board that sounds like a “Who’s Who in American Christianity Today,” but remember it only takes a large board and a couple of big wheels to make an oxcart!

Where did David get the idea to use an oxcart to bring back the Ark? He got it from the Philistines. That is how they moved it. Just as God could not bless David for doing a good thing in a worldly way, He cannot bless us when we try to bring His presence to people in ways that are more like corporate America than New Testament Christianity. The prepackaged, manipulative “Christian” hype that is prevalent in much of American “churchianity” is detestable to God. Let us overturn our oxcarts, and seek the presence of the Lord in His prescribed ways!

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