I was pretty good at math… until the sixth grade, or should I say, until my teacher invented algebra. Then it was all downhill for me from there. I do, however, have enough of a practical mind to be able to understand some of the laws of physics, even if I don’t comprehend the math behind them. I have discovered that I cannot stand 100 feet away from a waterfall and expect it to bend sideways, showering me with cool refreshment. If I want that invigorating experience, common sense says I will have to move my feet 100 feet and get under the “spout” where the blessing is coming out. Alignment is everything.

David was excited about bringing the Ark of the Covenant home after a long stint in the house of the Philistines, his mortal enemies. With enlivened planning, but no consulting of the Law as to how to handle the Ark, David loaded it onto a cart and headed for Jerusalem. But when the oxen stumbled at a threshing floor, the Ark was in danger of tipping over. One of David’s men, Uzzah, reached his hand out to steady it and was struck dead by the presence of God. David was so hurt and angry at God that he left the Ark there at a man’s house named Obed-edom. He named that place Perez-uzzah, which means “to burst out against Uzzah.”

It’s just human nature to get upset with God for not moving the way we hope He will move. David was angry at God, but had he taken the time to refresh his memory on God’s specific instructions as to how the Ark was supposed to be carried, which was on the shoulders of the priests, this would not have happened. His anger eventually had to be redirected to himself for expecting a right result from a wrong pattern of behavior.

The name Perez is often translated “breakthrough.” David used it in a sense of “breakout,” as in “God has broken out against us.” But when he left the Ark at Obed-edom’s house, the man’s family was showered with incredible blessings for three months. A breakout against one man was a breakthrough for another in the exact same location. Obedience and honor for God’s principles is the only difference.

We often say, “Well, God knows my heart,” thinking that our good intentions will cause Him to overlook our disregard for the principles He spelled out for us in His instruction manual for life. But, God will not bend the waterfall for us. We get mad at Him when things don’t work out, but we would do well to stop and ask ourselves and Him, “How am I not in alignment with Your Word, Lord?” He wants to pour out His refreshing deluge over our lives. The choice is ours. Breakout or breakthrough? Obedience is the key.

Prayer: God, help me to surrender my agenda to yours today. Help me to walk in Your grace, possessing the ability to be obedient to your written word and to the voice of Your Holy Spirit in my heart.

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