Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Please Don't Cut Me Off

I love the Word of God. It comes alive every time I read it. I can honestly say that the bible is the BESTEST (yes, that's a word here) book I have ever read. I can read the same stories over and over again and get a different revelation every time. This evening, I found an old scrap book of my devotions that I began writing when I first got "really" saved. This particular devotion dealt with idolatry and how innocently it can begin. As I read my own words, they struck a nerve and conviction began to set in so I decided to share this message with you all. Tonight's devotion will come from 2 Kings 17

I've been visiting a lot of blogs and reading about how many of you have become very busy with holidays, your families, jobs and blogs. You are not alone. I've been finding myself extremely busy lately yet I feel like I'm not accomplishing much. When I recap my day before I go to bed (I try to do this every night), I realize that I haven't accomplished half of what I purposed in my heart to do the night before. This discovery caused me to sit and think about my priorities . For the most part, everything listed on my "to do list" NEEDS to be done but at what expense? Could it be possible that I am so busy with life that I am forgetting to live? Can it be that I am too blessed to be stressed so now I don't pray as much as I should? As I read my devotion from the early days I once again began to see myself and how my behavior resembled the actions of the infamous Children of Israel. (They are one of my favorite subjects.).

The Children of Israel were blessed. God delivered them out of bondage from the hands of Pharaoh. He led them through the wilderness and met all of their needs. He fought their battles for them and defeated defeated their enemies. However the Children of Israel continued in their sin and constantly tried to commit secret sins against the Lord.

There is no place we can go that the Lord cannot see us or no thought that we can think that the Lord can not hear.

The Children of Israel had a tendency for worshipping other gods. No matter how much God blessed them, saved them or delivered them - they still wanderd. Now we know better than to bow down before a statue in worship but worship simple means to love unquestioningly, uncritically or in excess.

Hmmm... That's something to think about.

They built idols and offered sacrifices and burnt offerings. They even sacrificed their own children to their gods. They disregarded the fact that God told them that they were His chosen people, a nation of priests and set apart. They often imitated what everyone else was doing. I guess it was always a struggle of the flesh to be in the world and not of the world.

The Lord removed Israel from His presence (Verses 18-20). The Lord rejected all of the people of Israel. He afflicted them and gave them over into the hands of plunder until He finally thrust them from His presence. As Believers we do not and should not want to push God's hand to the point where He removes us from His presence. As I sit and think about all of the things I've been placing such high value on lately, I can't help but to repent as I think about the time I've been trading for God's presence. The Children of Israel had chances. God clearly told them what He required of them. However, they chose to do as they pleased. They did not put other gods and their evil wicked behavior away. They thought their idolatry was hidden from God.

We have to be ever so careful that we do not allow our mates, friends, habits or personal needs become our idols. We must put God first worshipping Him and only Him. God doesn't just cast us out for our first, second, or third offences. Only God knows when His mercy will turn to wrath. I don't want to find out how many chances I have. I want to work while it is still day because when night comes, no man will be able to work. I want to seek the Lord while it is early while He may yet be found.

The bible says that they Children of Israel were affliced and given to the hands of plunder until finally God thrust them from His presence. I don't need to be removed from God to understand that He is a jealous God.

So, Lord, I repent. I want to walk worthy of the vocation to which you have called me. I know that a life without you is nothing at all. Help me to better manage my time. Time belongs to you. My life belongs to you. My soul belongs to you. My praise belongs to you. My worship belongs to you. Lead me, guide me. Help me to be who you want me to be, where you want me to be for as long as you want me to be. Here I am Lord send me. I love you, thank you and praise you. Lord, whatever you do, PLEASE don't cut me off.


B His Girl said...

That is a lot of "B"ing in your prayer. : } I think you are where you are supposed to b. b his girl

Spring Fricks said...

Do you teach the bible anywhere? Like sunday school or a women's bible study? I just see you as a teacher. You have a gift of relating the bible to life.

Sharon said...

I know about the bestest word, I use it alot. This is a great post! We must continue to pray and during this time of the year, we need to even pray more.
I am so inspired by you!
Merry Christmas

From the Heart said...

You are so humble. I enjoy reading your posts. They make me stop and take a look at my life.

Spring Fricks said...

Okay, your comment to me is very interesting. I say this because as I was reading your blog this morning I saw you as a teacher. I literally saw you with a bible in your lap and teaching a group out of it.

I would say this to you. And, take it as the Lord leads you. In this next move of the spirit God is going to move out of the box we have placed him. Mostly because unsaved people won't come to that box. So, I feel as though he wants you to be open to unconventional and creative avenues. He's going to launch you in arenas you never expected and you are to be ready to start speaking the word. The gift is there, the knowledge is there, now you just need the arena. Don't look for it in the "box". Look for it in God because he is going to open up unexpected doors for you. Be ready.

Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Wow. You hit the nail right on its head. You are so right and interestingly - those idols can be so subtle that we don't realize they are taking God's place.

I get the point: God's first. It is also my prayer but forever thankful and grateful that before any 'cut off' takes place - there's plenty of warning. He deserves our 'first' in everything.

Thanks for such precious words.


Sister Shanita,

That last paragraph sounds like a prayer that we could all use.

If one is not very careful we could get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday season, the enemy is offering the masses a carrot.

Great post!

Stay endowed.

GOD Bles~~~

Truth4thejourney said...

This is such an important teaching during the Christmas season! Thank you for reminding us about idols! That definition of worship really puts it into perspective!


luvmy4sons said...

Mmmmm...good stuff. It is so easy to let our hearts be ruled by something other than our Lord. Christmas is a good time for self examination on this! Thanks for this post! And for your visits by my place! Merry Christmas!

From the Heart said...

Thanks for your visit. I had never heard anything but the chorus of the song you mentioned, but when I looked it up it showed the rest.

Everyonce in a while we just need to stop and worship God. I can't sing but I feel sure God doesn't mind.

Tammy said...

This is something that has been on my heart for a while.
Your post is just another way God is trying to get my attention.

I have felt busy and unorganized with my time,lately.

Your writing as stirred my heart...Thank you!

Chit Chat With Divagirlrn said...

This is so true. Everytime I read your blog, it's as if you're speaking right to me. This is a post we all need to heed. Your blog is truly a blessing.

Shanita Waters said...

@B - thanks for the words of encouragement. Whenever I feel like I'm "where I'm supposed to be" I ask God to keep me humble near the foot of the cross.

@ Sharon - It's so nice to hear from you. I've been praying for you and can't wait to read another post from you. (No pressure)

@ Alice - Thank you so much. I'm blessed to read that you are blessed by my blog. I think that you are really sweet. I enjoy your blog and visits. By the way I can't sing either but it's one of my favorite things to do. I'm sure it all sounds good to God! He inhabits the praises of His people.

@ Myriam - You are so very welcome here. Feel free to stop by anytime. I enjoy your blog as well. You have a lot of "meat" over there. I've left full every time I visited. (I couldn't read it all in one sitting at work *smiles*). Oh yeah, I thank God for His mercy because if He used the same measure I use at times I would have been cut off a LONG time ago.

@ Hallelujah - Thanks so much. That's pretty much part of my prayer everyday. I just want to be who He wants me to be, where He wants me to be and focused on the tasks that He has given me.It's so easy to get distracted.

@ Sonya - Thank you. It was Bishop George Blummer who helped me to understand what "worship" really was. After I heard his teaching on worship, I had to rethink a lot of my priorities and the importance I placed on them. It feels good to be free.

@ Luvmy4sons - Your blog has truly been a blessing to me. I started following and have been visiting everyday. You are such an encouragement and blessing to me. Keep blogging!

@ Tammy - I'm glad you could stop by. I'm also glad that God used me to confirm some things to you. When I found this old devotion I wrote, I was shocked by how timely it was. I've been so busy that I've been too busy to live. That's not a good thing. Jesus came so that we would have life and have it more abundantly. God knows how to get our attention.

@ Divagirl - Hey Lady! I'm glad you stopped by. I've been **lurking** your page from time to time. I'm happy that you're blessed when you drop by. You're always welcome here!

Pastor Andre' A. McGhee said...

Your thought provoking and soul searching post are a continual joy to read. Keep at it!

Shanita Waters said...

A Pastor McGhee - it's always a blessing to have you stop by. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and you are always welcome here.