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.