Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lessons from the battlefield, part 12: tearing down the idols

2 Chronicles 31:1 “Now, when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the Asherim, and pulled down the high places of the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim, Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all.”  

When they had completed reopening the temple, giving their sin offerings, celebrating the Passover, sacrificing peace offerings, and giving thanks for twice the prescribed time, they were ready to do something about the idols in their lives.  This is an important principle that we need to understand clearly.  They had a renewed relationship with the Father FIRST.  The actions that followed were an outgrowth of relationship.  

Picture this if you can.  Idols filled the land.  There were altars to false gods throughout Judah at the same time that the Passover was ongoing. God did not require them to get “cleaned up and holy” before they came before Him.  God allowed them to come back to Him just as they were, with all the idols still standing.  The problem, you see, was not with the pile of stones in the altar.  The problem was with the stony hearts that worshipped at the altars of stone.  He knew that, when their hearts were right with Him, they would willingly remove the idols in their lives.  

Perhaps you feel unworthy to serve the Lord or even to be in His presence.  Maybe there are idols in your life that need to go.  Please don’t hold back in service because of the junk in your life.  Remember that our Lord Jesus came because He knew that we could not clean our hearts up on our own.  He came to pay for the sin in our lives and to set us free from its hold on our lives.  

Come to our Lord in the same way Judah did.  Repent, allow Him to deal with the consequences of your sin, renew your relationship with Him, then allow Him to empower you to remove those sources of sin altogether.  When He removes your stony heart and replaces it with a heart like His, the altars of stone will be quickly demolished.