Clear the Land … by Chaniece Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 13 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 13 – 15Psalms 96 – 100Proverbs 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Read the “0520 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – Asa – He Started Well But Finished Poorly“;  “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”; and “Trust in the Lord”

“And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.” (2 Chronicles 15:8-9)

I’m sure Asa had thoughts in the back of his mind of how the people would react to him removing the altars of the idols and renewing the altar of God. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 15:8, “…he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land…” We’ve seen it before. The people of Asa’s day could have had an uproar just as the people did when Gideon tore down the idols of his day in the Book of Judges. Yet, Asa, without hesitation, took upon himself to redirect the people’s hearts back to God. But in this chapter, we see a different outcome. Asa’s bold move proved to impress all he ruled over, for verse 9 states that the people, “fell to him out of Israel in abundance…” Why did the people suddenly fall into submission of their king’s sudden changes? The end of verse 9 gives the answer, “when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.”

That poses the question I want to bring forth. Who wants to follow God because of our relationship with him? The people did not just begin to believe God. The Bible says in verse 12, “And they entered into a covenant to seek the God of their fathers with all their heart and all their soul;” Are others not just believing in God, but are they wanting to fall into complete submission to our God because they see him all over us? In what ways are we trying to “clear the land” of our lives from idols so that we are strong leaders for the Lord?

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark

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Spiritual Demolition … by Chaniece Clark

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 12 – 14 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read –  2 Corinthians 9 – 13Proverbs 5Psalms 21 – 25)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0305 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 12:1-4)

One the greatest gifts given by God to the Jews, at this time, was the Promised Land. In acceptance of this gift, God had a few stipulations; one of which being removing the high places where the previous owners of the land used to worship their idols. In doing so, the Israelites had a better chance of:

1 – focusing on true worship, and

2 – not getting tempted to follow after the false gods of their enemies. I liken this to Ephesians 4:22-24 where we as believers are commanded to put off the old man:

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Our Promised Land is Heaven and our gift salvation. Upon accepting the gift of salvation we become His; at which point we are to destroy the old man and follow Him. Why are we to destroy the old man? Just like with the Israelites, we must destroy the altars of the previous owners (self) in order to, in turn, truly and wholly worship God, and to remove the temptation of following after our sinful lusts – the flesh. Just as when God gave the Israelites the Promised Land, he expects obedience and true worship out of a grateful heart.

Now, we know the rest of the story. It was manageable for the Israelites to tear down the altars when they first reached the Promised Land. They were thrilled to finally be in the place the Lord had promised them, and would do practically anything out of relief for not having to walk through the wilderness another day. Yet that excitement soon wore off and they and their desired rulers became complacent and forgot where God brought them from. At salvation the majority of people are geared up and excited to tear down the altars of self and wholly surrender to God, but eventually one becomes complacent about removing those high places that were once taken down. The enemy (the flesh) is allowed back in and worshipped in place of the Giver of Salvation.

Have we as Christians utterly destroyed all the places where the previous owner worshiped- self, the flesh, lust? Are we continuing to wholly worship the one true God, or are we piece by piece putting back together the high places because we have forgotten the gift of the Promised Land?

Travis and Chaniece Clark

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