Potential For Power
It was at Ekron that the Ark of God changed directions and began its long and slow journey back to Israel, but God’s presence did not immediately return to His people. It would take over 20 years to arrive in Jerusalem!
After what happened at Ekron, the Philistines decided they had better send the Ark back where it belonged (1 Samuel 6). They built a cart, placed the Ark on it, and used two milk cows to pull the load. These cows had calves shut up at home and their natural instinct when left to their own resources would have been to head towards their young ones. Instead, the cows headed straight towards Israel. (Even dumb animals know the glory belongs to God’s people and not in the hands of the enemy!)
The cows and their precious cargo arrived first at a place called Bethshemesh where some people of Israel were reaping their harvest. When they saw the Ark, they began to rejoice. They took the cart and cows and offered them as an offering to the Lord.
But the men of Bethshemesh did not realize that holiness must be at the heart of any move of God. These men wanted God’s presence among them, but they did not want it God’s way. They looked into the Ark, which was forbidden by God, and 50,000 people died because of their sin (Exodus 19:21). Many times we rejoice when the presence of God begins to move in our midst, yet we refuse to walk in holiness. We want the presence of God, but we refuse to abide by His standards. Because of this, God’s move passes us over.
Because the people of Bethshemesh refused God’s standards, the Ark was sent on to Kirjath-Jearim where it remained for 20 years (1 Samuel 7:2). Although the Ark itself was in the midst of the people of Kirjath-Jearim, they rejected its power. They had the symbol of the presence of God in their midst, yet they and all of Israel “lamented” after the Lord. This means they longed for His power, hungering and thirsting for His presence. Jerusalem was void of the presence of God — and all the time the Ark of God was only eight miles away!
For years, the Ark of God’s glory was shifted from city to city with little or no regard, respect, or understanding of its significance. The Ark carried within it the potential of all the mighty power of God, but nobody understood, nobody cared, and no one paid much attention to it. That is how many of us today treat the power and presence of God that dwells within us, dormant until we release its potential.
Make this declaration:
I am releasing the power of God’s presence which has laid dormant within me.