“Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “ I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘ I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘ I will not drive them out before you; but they will become as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.’” Judges 2:1-3 NASB (Bold mine)
“You shall consume all the peoples whom the LORD your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.” Deuteronomy 7:16 NASB
I was going to write about selfishness today, but as I went to bed last night I decided to listen to the bible where my daughter had left off. She was in Judges 1, and so I curled up under my covers and listened.
“But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its villages, or…so the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. It came about when Israel became strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely. Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer; so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them. Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron…so the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labor.”
And on and on it went as the tribes of Israel did not drive out the Canaanites as the Lord had instructed them to. They disobeyed their God. As a result, the Canaanites lived among God’s people and pulled their hearts away from God.
“Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them” Judges 2:11,12
The Psalmist says this:
They did not destroy the peoples,
as the LORD commanded them,
but they mixed with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.
Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity.
(Psalm 106:34-43 ESV)
If I do not listen to God when He tells me to get rid of something or stop something I’m doing, the thing or the direction I’m heading will become a snare to me. It will consume me, and my heart will be led away from God.
We talked about distractions on Monday and so many of you struggle with the computer – Facebook, reading blogs, and social media in general. So do I. These distractions not only take us away from our responsibilities, they also take us away from God.
Back in the fall the Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit and this is what I heard: “If you keep going the way you are going now, you will regret your life in 15 years.” Those words took my breath away and seriously caused me to consider my life and what I was doing where I was headed. I do not want to regret my life. I do not want to follow other “gods”. I want my heart to long for God above all else.
I think you do to. That’s the crummy thing about addictions, they consume you, they break your heart, they make you a slave. We have to run from our addictions. We must.
Because there is only One who we are to choose to be a slave to.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 NASB
“Will I give up, will I surrender to Jesus Christ, and make no conditions whatever as to how the break comes? I must be broken from my self-realization, and immediately that point is reached, the reality of the supernatural identification takes place at once, and the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable – “I have been crucified with Christ.”
The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond-slave of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I do not begin to be a saint.”
Recommended Resource: Blogger Behave
Mary Challenge: Is there something you know you need to loosen your grip on or give up all together? Maybe you need to ask God to show you where your heart is being led away (if it is). Pray for the courage to run.
Martha Challenge: I’m still working on my bedroom! Today, see if you can finish up your bedroom – perhaps you need to clean out a jewelry drawer or a night stand drawer. Whatever it is, see if you can accomplish it today.
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