Encouragement from the Word

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth"
III John 1:4

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24-15

You know...those Israelites sure seemed to be quite hard-headed at times, didn't they? As they wandered through the wilderness under the leadership of Moses, and then took possession of the "promised land" under Joshua, they couldn't get it through their heads that they were to worship only the one true God. Time and time again they were enticed by the practices of the pagan people groups that surrounded them and would find themselves once again worshipping idols.

This led to disaster for them over and over as God removed his hand of blessing from them. Had they  forgotten the miraculous way God had delivered them from Egypt, parted the Red Sea, provided daily manna and delivered them from their enemies?

Shortly before Joshua died, he proclaimed to the people, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". He asked them to do the same- to recommit themselves to the Lord God and to turn away from idols for good.

As I read this account and reflected on the history and journey of the Israelites, I began to think about the idols in my own life and how I, too, have turned to them time and time again for fulfillment and temporal happiness rather than turn to the one true God. No, I don't bow and worship a golden calf or a statue of Baal...but, when I look to something other than God to fill up my soul, give my life meaning, bring me peace, or complete me, I am worshipping an idol.

What are some common idols in today's world that have many women in bondage?  Well, the list might include: our spouse, our kids, food, our career, exercise and health, movies and T.V., the "eyes" ( Ipod, Iphone, Ipad ), shopping, perfecting our image or physical appearance or even a volunteer position that we may have. These things are not bad in themselves, however, if they are what you turn to when sad, depressed, frustrated, feeling lonely, etc., that can be a clue that a particular thing is an idol to you. If you are looking to something on this list for your fulfillment, it is an idol. Another clue is when all of your time, energy or money is expended on a particular thing with nothing left for the things of the Lord.

The Bible says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength" God wants our total devotion, dependance and allegience. We are to worship him and only him with our entire being.

I believe that putting away a particular idol in our lives, especially a strong one, requires a daily recommitment and prayer for strength, asking God to break the bonds that this idol has over us.

Just as the Israelites should have remembered all that God had done for them, let's remember what the Lord has done for us. He created us and this beautiful world in which we live, he sustains us to live and breathe another day, he forgives our sins and rains blessings down on us; out of his great love, he sent his Son to die for us. He is mighty and worthy to be praised!

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