Friday, November 8, 2019
The gods of the land...
If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 NASB
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51
It is easy to become distracted in the Christian life! The moment you understand what God wants you to do, it will seem as though everyone around you requires your time and attention! When the time came for Jesus to go to the cross, He “set His face”toward Jerusalem, so that nothing would prevent Him from accomplishing His Father's will. Beware of becoming so sidetracked by the opportunities around you that you lose sight of God's ultimate goal for you. Do not succumb to the temptation to delay your obedience or to discard it altogether. Once you have received a clear assignment from God, your response should be unwavering obedience. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Two seemingly separate places in my reading, evidently aren't separate in God's eyes.
It struck my right between the eyes that famous passage from Joshua. Then to read what Blackaby said of Jesus's determination.
Consider this that every single country in this world has 'gods'. Lower case g. There is but One God, uppercase g.
My regular Bible Plan had me reading in Jeremiah as well. The part about the obstinate people who tried calling out God. Going to Egypt where He told them what will happen if they did. They went to escape King Nebuchadnezzar. Yet the Lord said He was bringing King Nebuchadnezzar there and he wasn't going to be kind about it. They were standing in their stubbornness and telling Jeremiah of the gods they worshipped now and how they would be safe. That all that Jeremiah was talking about was a lie. The gods of that land.
America is no different. There are indeed gods of this land. But I know where many will likely go in their thoughts. Oh this is a Christian nation! Really? Is it REALLY? To claim that brings its own level of future judgment. Yes judgement. Why so? Because as Joshua points out, as Jesus did in setting His face towards the cross. That which is important that which you believe is where your heart is.
There are indeed Christians living in the United States. However if this indeed were a Christian nation it would be a nation that heeds the voice of God. Not the voices of gods of this land.
The technology has changed but the hearts of people have not. Ecclesiastes. There's nothing new under the sun.
People here are like people in other countries. They strive for the day. They live what they believe. Oh you're saying that you are a Christian? Do you live it or are you saying that you do yet live your own way? You who say you are a follower of Jesus Christ, do you have idols in your home? You who claim the name of Jesus, are there idols in your heart? Is your mind occupied with things above or on things down here? Are you more knowledgeable about fictional characters from movies, television or real world people in sports than you are of Jesus and the Bible?
Where does your heart feel at home? Are you more excited about a sporting event or team than you are concerning teaching from God on a Sunday? Will you sacrifice sleep on a Saturday night for something yet 'call in' sick for God on that Sunday Morning? You think He doesn't see your heart?
Look at one of the letters to the Churches in Revelation. Just the one about returning to your first love. Why return if you wouldn't have left in the first place?
But you don't understand. There's so much to do. I need my down time. I need to relax. I don't take it seriously. It's not worship! Really? It isn't worship. Do you get upset at all, even in the slightest, when someone slams 'your team'? You don't get irritated at all when people don't get the 'facts' straight about a television or movie character you like?
You think that it's a coincidence that you claim not to have time to read your Bible yet you spent several hours watching a football game? You have an intimate knowledge of the sport yet can't have a talk about something you read in the Bible?
This isn't slamming. This is reality.
Reality is Scripture says to be on guard for what enters your heart and mind! Look at King Solomon! Prayed for and was granted more wisdom than any man in history next to Jesus! Look at how quickly he fell! Here's a man who had Godly discernment. Who had Godly wisdom. Yet violated, a little bit at a time practically every one of the 10 Commandments so often that nobody but God could tell!
You think you are better than him? I know that I am not.
Where is your heart? Is it divided between the gods of the land where you are and Jesus? Are sports, recreation, entertainment, politics, science, anything taking up more of your heart than Jesus?
Do you wear the symbol of your idols everywhere including Church yet will not wear a shirt depicting your faith in God?
Why? Embarrassed? Ashamed? Don't get mad at me for writing it. God speaks, I write, that's how this works every morning for me. If this has hit a chord with you then you need to examine your heart. You cannot serve God and the gods of this world. Read the Old Testament. It never ever worked out for Israel.
So look around you. Where is your heart?
Don't say that it's not that bad. They said the same thing in Jeremiah. The Lord still dealt with them. Don't say make up excuses.
If Jesus is your Savior then He alone is your Master. He leads you follow. One Master.
Consider your heart today. As for me and my House, my heart, l will serve the Lord.