Thursday, June 30, 2016

JUNE 30 "I'M SO CONFUSED, ARE YOU?"

     I'm so confused..are you?  They worshiped the Lord (well that's good) BUT, they also served their own gods...."
     At least there's a "but" in between, but that's a big butt.....I mean, which is it, did they serve God or not? I'm confused.  Confusion, that's what we get when we try to serve God along with our own gods along the way.  Confusion, is what you get when you try to serve God along with your own religion.  The world looks on and they are confused. The world ought to be able to look at an individual and either see a sinner or a saint, Christian or Heathen, which one is it? Choose, make a decision and then let it be clear what you are. I am confused by this.....they worshiped the Lord...BUT they also served their own gods. This confuses me just as much as our duplicate lives confuses the world that looks on at us in the church. And to add to the confusion Verse 34 says, "They neither worshiped the LORD nor adhered to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the LORD gave..."  So now I'm really confused!!!  Just a couple of verses prior we are reading "they served the Lord, then we are reading they didn't".
     The grim reality is that those that try to serve The Lord alongside all their other mini gods and idols, well in the end, don't really serve The Lord after all, do they! Jesus said, "you break the commandments of God to follow the traditions of men" and of course Jesus was speaking about religion, religion is the mini gods. We can only cling to one thing tightly.  We will either cling to God tightly and hold loosely everything else, or we will hold on to our little gods tightly and hold loosely  to God. Trying to serve God with a death grip on your...livelihood, family, money & possessions is not going to work well.  How can you adhere to the decrees, regulations, laws and commands that the Lord gives and yet still be true to your fellow man, your family, your religion and all your family customs. Some traditions are just sacred to our unsaved families and you will be regarded as a traitor if you should ever skip out on those traditions, even if it is "in the name of God", it will not be excused. Family, careers, companies..., they are all in favor of you being religious, until it interferes with their agenda and traditions. Go ahead and miss the sacred Sunday night family dinner for church and see if you are not cast off as a betrayer of the family. Tell your boss you cannot work overtime because you are committed to a ministry at the church.  Tell your company you cannot join them in Vegas for their annual Sodom & Gomorrah fest and see now how thrilled they are. The best way it seems to us, to please both God and the world is to "serve the Lord and then set up our own priests and gods along the way". This is the best way we think. Favor with both, we think....The perfect scenario. But if you do this, don't fail to see how God concludes the matter, God's conclusion is that you are not serving him and you truly do not know him. "Send them a priest to show them what to do to please their God", they just don't get it. It is not about learning Christian cliches, making sure we say Grace, join a church (do the things that please God) and then set up on the side; the gods we really want to serve. This group of people who went into Samaria to occupy the land did not get it, do you? Are you confused by reading this text? You should be, it is meant to be. Does it read like a contradiction.....it was meant to read like a contradiction. Make sure your life does not read like a contradiction. Make sure you don't present a confusing message to your audience. Choose whom and what you want to serve and then make it clear to your audience, what you believe, who your God is and whom you serve.