23. Be an ox for Christ

Last year we had a look at the twelve oxen at the foot of the sea of bronze. The number twelve and the way the oxen were arranged represented the fact that all of God's children should represent the likeness of God to all the corners of the world. All of us should proclaim His Kingdom throughout the world, no matter what our occupation is.

Today we will look at the meaning of the oxen themselves. Let us start by looking at the Bible where specifically twelve oxen are used. In Numbers 7 the tabernacle was dedicated to the Lord. And in verse 3 we see that each leader of the tribes of Israel brought an ox to be used in the work of the Tabernacle.  Oxen were thus seen as a sacrifice by the leaders. In 1 Kings 19:19 Elisha was plowing with the 12th team of oxen when Elijah called him to be his follower. Thus 12 oxen seem to indicate to me, leaders dedicated to service to God, giving what they had and their lives to Him.

Oxen are also traditionally seen as strong, loyal and hardworking. Oxen were also used to break new ground.

If we look at all this information and what oxen represents we can conclude the following: Oxen are strong, loyal, hardworking, groundbreakers and represents dedicated lives in service to God.

And I believe that is exactly what God wants us to be. He wants us to be strong. He wants us to resist the urge and the temptations of this world. He wants us to choose Him no matter what the circumstances are. He wants us to be loyal to Him. He wants us to stand up for Him even though it might not be the popular thing to do. I remember how unpopular I was after I asked the school to not have a ghost house at the school fair or when I asked them to remove a prescribed book containing a 'soft spot' for witches etc. We won't be popular if we stand up for God and His ways, but God wants us to remain loyal to Him, despite opposition.

God wants His children to be hardworking and not lazy. We cannot expect God to open all the doors for us and not do anything from our side. We must always do our best and God will do the rest. We can therefore trust Him that everything will work out, but we must do our part as well. Also we cannot 'just pray' about certain situations. Many times action is also required in addition to prayer. Obviously prayer is essential, but sometimes we need to act too. For example where Moses prayed to God to intervene when the Egyptians attacked them in the wilderness. God asked him why he was praying, because this was not a time to pray, but to act. He had to lift up his staff to open up the way through the Red Sea. He had to do his part too.

God wants us to be groundbreakers. He wants us to spread His Word on dry ground. He wants us to be innovators and to till the ground for His sake.

And above all He wants our lives dedicated to Him. He wants us to realize that we are dead in Christ and that He lives through us now. It is not us living anymore, but Him through us. That is true life. He wants our dedication and commitment to Him and His Kingdom. He wants us to exalt Him in all areas of our lives.

Come and be the ox for Christ. Be the leader, walk in front, lead by example and let others follow.

Father please help us to be oxen to be proud of. It is not always easy for us, because in our fast paced world an ox is too slow. But we know and we praise You that You can use us and can develop our abilities into powerful tools in Your hands. Amen

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