Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- April 14, 2013
The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. 1 Kings 3:2-3
High places haunt, hurt, and hinder your relationship with God because they are direct competitors with Jesus. They are altars of worship from your past that you never completely destroyed or removed from your life. You are deceived when you think they can coexist with Christ and not bring you harm. You tolerate them; even thinking your love for the Lord allows you to have this mistress, who in fact, derails you into not finishing well. The wisest man in the world, next to Jesus, learned this the hard way. Solomon thought he was smarter than God (not so wise), and went to the high place of degrading marriage. But it blew up in his face by debilitating his family. His high place of pride kept him from experiencing God’s best and from finishing well. No one is immune from sin’s insidious outcome.
Your high place may be the propensity to drink too much; indeed, alcohol has become your altar of escape. Or you may be secretly serving the god of sex. The Internet with its streaming video or publications with their glossy photos have captured your affections in direct opposition to your devotion to Christ. Your high place may be the residue of salty language, eating too much, or exercise—either the lack of it or the obsession with it. High places are indiscriminate; they bring down celebrity Christians and everyday followers of Jesus. God’s remedy is to rid them from your life and destroy them before they destroy you. Paul described your need for and the ability to discard your old habits and put on new spiritual disciplines in Christ:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Hunker down in your faith and ask heaven to help you obliterate the high places in your heart. Ask your spouse or a trusted friend to help you identify and define them. Then invite them to hold you accountable to a process of removing high places from your home and work. Your high place may be as obvious as anger or as discreet as undisciplined thinking. It may be necessary for you to add or uninstall software on your computer. The seriousness of its influence on your life may require a drastic step such as dumping your boyfriend or girlfriend or changing jobs. If it is the high place of money, ignore its allure by giving more away. Develop friendships that have nothing to do with finances, only an opportunity to grow a relationship without getting something in return.
Above all else, go to the low place of increasing your dependence on God and decreasing your dependence on yourself. He must increase and you must decrease (John 3:30 KJV). Your path to heaven, absent of high places, leads you into a life that finishes well.
Your worship is much higher than high places; it is Jesus and Jesus alone.
Taken from the April 15th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” volume 1… … http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a
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