Broken Tablets | Devotion 5: Cleaning House
“Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, ‘All of you who are on the Lord’s side, come here and join me.’ And all the Levites gathered around him. Moses told them, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.’ The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, ‘Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.’” Exodus 32:25-29 (NLT)
This is such an intense passage. Can any of us imagine being this obedient to God? It is a true nightmare to consider. A more likely choice we would have to make today is to remove toxic influences from our lives. If you struggle with drugs, it will be much harder to get clean if you hang out with other addicts. If you are convicted about alcohol consumption – avoid bars, the liquor aisle, and perhaps friends who are always drinking or asking you to join them at the bar. If your conviction is profanity, you will have to get away from people and places where that language is used.
A good friend of mine had a “return to God” moment several years ago. He decided it was time to repent and rededicate his life to God. He had to make tough choices and separate himself from close friends because they would pull him away from godly living. He also chose to remove media and other things that did not honor God.
One of my favorite Bible stories is contained in 1 Kings chapter 18 – Elijah versus the prophets of Baal. The Israelites could not decide if they followed God or Baal, so there was a sacrifice showdown. God showed up in an undeniable and incredible way that day (I would love to see this portrayed in film one day!). After the Israelites are reminded that God reigns supreme, all the prophets of Baal are round up and executed. They led people away from God and had to be removed as influencers.
Be careful about the influences you allow in your life. Honor God with your choices and be obedient. Following God will often mean making personal sacrifices, but God will honor your obedience.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15