It has been so long since our last post, but with a new baby… I guess we have a good excuse. Excuse or not, I hope to do a better job at keeping you all up to date and plugged-in to our life and ministry in Brazil.
As of recent, in my quiet time, I have reading thru portions of the Old Testament. I have been brought, over and over, to see the life and character of the peoples of biblical times. Many of these people, who saw the mighty hand of the Almighty at work in front of them, too often turn from God to worship pagan deities. We see said of many kings of Israel that they, “… did evil in the eyes of the Lord,” or “he committed all the sins of his father.” These men had received a precious gift from God, the position of leader of His people. Too many of these men did not faithfully fulfill their duties and remove that which was ungodly but rather they turned from God and used the scared trust given to them for ungodly purpose. They became corrupt from the worship of pagan deities and allowed all of the people to become corrupt as well.
In contrast, we see the character of those which the Bible states, “… (this leader) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” When speaking of these leaders the scriptures refer back to King David’s reign. Why is this the case? Was not David’s reign at times brutal? Was not it marked by war, strife, adultery, and murder? It was all this and more. Even with problematic actions and events, David is given as the prototype individual. Why? It is my belief that it was in part because the heart of David was wholly given to God. Although many nations that surrounded Israel worship pagan deities, David was devoted to the Lord. When even those close to him turned to other Gods, David sought the Lord. The book of Psalms is filled with the outpouring of love and devotion held by David for the Lord. So, the Lord used David as the model for devotion among a nation that so often looked elsewhere.
I am sure each one wants to hear the Lord approve of their life. We do not one day want to stand in the presence of the Almighty and hear that in His eyes we were evil. Unfortunately, I fear that many, Christians and non-Christians, will hear of the evil and idolatry in their lives. If you are like me, you want say that although, I sin too often, I am ‘sold-out’ to the Lord. Would we be correct if that was what we said? Can we say that absolutely nothing takes the place of the Lord in our life?
Regrettably, I can say that too often I worship an idol. I bow down before it and give it first place in my life. It receives too much honor and esteem. I ignore the direction of the Holy Spirit and I instead do that which pleases the idol. I know that idolatry is wrong but I cannot help but hold up high and worship ‘self.’ One might say that this is not idolatry… and in some sense, they are correct. I do not have a graven image setting on an alter in a prominent place in my home. I do not pray to my idol nor do I give it a same. Nevertheless, just like the Israel of ancient, I place something above the Lord. I allow my wants and desire to crowd out the direction of the Holy Spirit. I permit my so-called needs to crowd out the Lord of all creation. It is my prayer and hope that I will be able to do what so many in ancient Israel could not or would not do… tear down the idol and turn wholeheartedly toward God.
It is my prayer for all, that each of you take a close look at your life, to make sure that you are focus on what matter most, our Lord Jesus Christ.