Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get Serious

"Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, 'If you are really serious about wanting to return to the LORD, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth.  Determin to obey only the LORD; then He will rescue you from the Philistines.'  So the Israelites destroyed their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the LORD" (1 Samuel 7:34).

I remember the first time my wife and I walked into the house that we now own.  It was a MESS!  There were stencils in the kitchen of grizzly bears, moose, and cedar trees.  My wife was far less than inspired.  The living room had layers upon layers of soot as the wood burning stove had no smoke stack and was releasing the exhaust back into the house.  Some of the rooms had mold.  The that was a room that helps me to understand this point in 1 Samuel.  The bathroom was all but condemned.  The soot was overwhelming from the kerosene lamp that hung.  The rust, mildew, and mold were a combination that took you back to the days of the "the swamp thing."  The closer you got to the toilet, the more in danger you were of falling through to the basement.  So, what did we do.  We realized that if we were going to be able to move forward as a family, and live effectively and healthily in this house, we had to get serious about the things that needed to go.  In the bathroom, we had a demolition party!  The sink had to go.  The tub had to go.  And oh yes...the toilet had to go.  We ripped down black paneling, and ripped up green carpet.  Then, and only then, were we able to bring that which was once was condemned to a place of beauty and restoration.

So it was with Israel.  If they people had really wanted to receive revelation and the promises of what God had in store for them, then they needed to remove the roadblocks that were standing in the way.  There were things in their lives that were not compatible with His dwelling presence.  They were to get rid of all the things that had become "god" to them, as well as all things that had linked them to the sinful lusts of the flesh.

If we are serious - really serious - about wanting the most of our relationship with God, then we have to be serious about getting rid of everything that is contrary HIS character.  We cannot have priorities that remove Him from being the Lord of our lives.  We cannot be linked to that which He hates.  It all has to be destroyed.

Don't allow anything stand in the way between where you are and where God wants you to be.

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