‘If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm’ ~ Psalm 37:23
Since ‘There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord’ (Proverbs 21:30), aligning with God’s wisdom, insight, and plan is the only way we can succeed in every area of our life. Anything outside of God’s will, eventually comes to nought. Although for a time it seems like it is succeeding, a sudden ruin and disaster will sure overtake it- like the tower of Babel which toppled in an instant. When one goes against God, at first, ‘The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath’ (Psalm 2:4-5). That is why, though many ‘great’ people have arisen in history, those outside God’s will soon become forgotten, because ‘The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot’ (Proverbs 10:7). In fact, God ‘thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. He catches the wise in their craftiness and the schemes of the wily are swept away’ (Job 5:12-1). He then ‘blots out their memory from mankind’ (Deuteronomy 32:26). So, it is an alignment with God (or lack thereof) that determines the course of one’s life. This is because Jesus is the determinant of ‘the falling and rising of many’ (Luke 2:34).
When the Israelites turned their backs on God moments after He had rescued them from slavery and showed them great wonders, their decline began. They made an idol and worshipped at its feet, and so they became a stench in God’s nostrils. Moses then tells the Israelites, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, come to me’ (Exodus 32:26). ‘And all the Levites rallied to him’ (v26). The tribe of Levi, is the only tribe of the twelve tribes of Israel that aligned with God at that time. After executing judgement on their brothers as instructed by God, by eliminating those who indulged in idol worship and Pagan revelry, the Lord made their steps firm. ‘You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day’ (v29). The Levites became priests, because they aligned with God, who anointed them to serve before Him. They were the only tribe set apart for priestly duties, and their priesthood endured. God even says of them, ‘priests are holy to their God. Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the Lord am holy – I who make you holy’ (Leviticus 21:7-8). The Levites were imputed God’s holiness simply because they aligned with God.
The Levites were always aligned to God. In another instance, when Phineas, ‘son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest’ (Numbers 25:11) saw that ‘an Israelite man brought to his family a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel’ (v6), he aligned with God without even being asked. Phineas knew that the Lord had forbidden the Israelites to marry with the enemy nations, because ‘they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you’ (Deuteronomy 7:4). So, Phineas was quick to align with God and purged evil from among them. As a result, God made ‘a covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honour of his God and made atonement for the Israelites’ (Numbers 25:13). The promise to Phineas came to his descendants, since aligning with God has a ripple and lasting effect. ‘For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which you have shown towards his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister’ (Hebrews 6:10).
Aligning with God is also traced not only to priesthood, but also to royalty. King David aligned with God so much that he remarks to God, ‘for zeal of your house consumes me and the insults of those who insult you fall on me’ (Psalm 69:9). He even adds, ‘Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies’ (139:v21-22). David became aligned with God so much that he hated what God hated, and loved what God loved. In fact, when he had settled as King in his palace, his love for God prompted him to want to build a temple for the ark of God. No one had even requested David to build it, but David’s zeal and love for God caused him to go above and beyond what God asked of him. God even asks him, ‘Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in?’ (2 Samuel 7:5), and proceeds to establish David’s house instead, because God shows Himself strong to those who are zealous for Him. He tells David, ‘Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth . . . Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever’ (v9, 16). Like David, another zealous King was Jehu. He aligned with God as he was required to ‘put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael’ (1 Kings 19:17) in order to execute judgement on the house of King Ahab, and his wicked wife, Jezebel. Jehu aligns with God saying, ‘How can there be peace as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?’ (2 Kings 9:22). He then executes the family of Ahab. God then tells Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation’ (10:v30). Although moving forward Jehu did not keep God’s law, God’s promise stood on account of his aligning to Him on that matter.
Believers who are ‘kings and priests unto God’ (Revelation 1:6) have a priestly and regal bloodline, because we have aligned with God by following Jesus who says, ‘If you hold on to my teaching, you are really my disciples’ (John 8:31). It is only those who align with God that are considered Christians, and not those who merely profess with their mouth. Believers align with God and ‘are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us’ (2 Corinthians 5:20). The appeal God makes through us is not to atone for people’s sins like the Priests of old were required to do, or judge and execute those who do not follow God like David and Jehu did, because it is now reserved only for Jesus. Instead, God uses us to make His appeal of the Gospel of peace to the lost, because He ‘gave us the ministry of reconciliation’ (v18), to reconcile men back to Him. So, when we align with God on this important matter, it is not in vain. Jesus assures, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much as in this age, and in the age to come, eternal life’ (Luke 18:29-30).
Ultimately, aligning with God often means that we lose our comforts and wills, let go of what is familiar, and going against worldly norms. Those who fail to align with God and instead conform to the world and their flesh, are beseeched by God to consider the Recabites who lived uprightly even amidst wickedness. ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words? Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day, they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me’ (Jeremiah 35:13-14). So, aligning with God is all about obeying Him fully and to the latter, because that is the only thing He expects of us. Since the Recabites obeyed their forefathers who kept the ways of God, ‘Jonadab son of Recab shall never fail to have a man to serve me’ (v19). But those who do not align with God fail at every turn, because as Jesus says, ‘He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters’ (Luke 11:23). As simple as that.
‘Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Prepare for battle and be shattered! Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us’ ~ Isaiah 8:9-10
‘But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations’ ~ Psalm 33:11