Israel seemed stuck in an endless cycle of having peace in the land while serving God, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord when they begin to worship false gods, God punishes Israel through another nation conquering them and enslaving them, Israel finally figures things out and they cry out to God, then God raises up a judge and Israel is delivered. We see this pattern over and over again. It’s no wonder then that our omnipotent God provided a warning to them. God knows just how deceitful the heart is. In Jeremiah 17:9, the prophet wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Solomon advised in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” The heart is a big problem and Satan knows our weakest spots and that’s where he chooses to tempt us. For Israel, it worshipping false gods. Yet we all have “gods” of some kind that we struggle with. Anything that we make a higher priority than God, becomes a god. It could be money, food, power, position, hobbies, children, careers, possessions, or health. Even sleep could become a god when we choose to sleep in late on Sunday instead of going to church. All these things deceive us into thinking that our “god” will make us happy. But true joy is only found in a right relationship with God and worshipping only Him. Therefore Paul wrote in Romans 13:14, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” The clothes that we choose to wear often reflect our status, our values, and even our priorities. Paul uses a clothing as an imagery to portray the transformation that results from our relationship with Jesus Christ when we accept Him as Savior. From Colossians 3:12, we learn that we are to “put on” certain godly characteristics that are a reflection of Christ himself: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” “Putting on” these godly characteristics is identifies our status as those who are holy, chosen and loved by God. So make sure that you are daily putting these on to guard your heart and that idols do not creep in and tempt you to put them before God.
God, forgive us for when we’ve made things or people more important to us than You. Help us to guard our heart and to not be deceived by them. Help us to keep our focus on you and to daily put on the Lord Jesus Christ and the characteristics that reflect who you are.
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) Also available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel. It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is booking for 2019 and 2020 events. Book with us now. Click the link and fill out the online form or call us at 904.524.8073.