Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The King's Way

“For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself - Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way.”

~~Frank Sinatra, My Way

When I was a child, I used to tell my parents, “When I grow up and get my own place, I’ll do whatever I want.”

Now that I’m a parent, my children think I can do whatever I want because I’m the grown up. But I have found out that as an adult I cant do whatever I want and have my way.

If I choose to do whatever I want, I may get away with it for some time, but eventually there will be consequences. I used to smoke cigarettes. I got to do what I wanted. I saw my Dad pass away with cancer. I’ve seen my grandfather with emphysema. I decided later after having the first child that it was not worth the risk of the consequences. Therefore, I gave up doing what I wanted.

If I choose to drive faster than the posted speed limit, I’m doing what I want. However, if I’m caught by law enforcement, then I receive a ticket, penalized, fined, and insurances costs rise as I’m labeled a risk by the insurance company. For doing whatever I want, I lose money and have a stigma attached to me.

We are free as long as we follow the laws of the land. However, if not, then it is possible to be incarcerated and lose those liberties. We must obey the laws to walk in our freedoms. So can I do what I really want? Can I have it my way?

I’ve been reading a chronological Bible reading with Bev. We’ve been reading through the Kings of Israel and Judah. After Solomon passed away, the country divided into two parts, the Northern Kingdom or Israel and the Southern Kingdom or Judah. These kings throughout history recorded in First & Second Kings and First and Second Chronicles had their way. They refused to obey God and follow the laws of the Lord given to Moses.

The Lord sent prophets to tell them and to warn them. However, they shrugged off the Lord’s prophets and listened to the false prophets. When I get a warning for driving too fast, I take heed and slow down. I take that as an act of mercy and grace from the Lord. I could have had to pay the fines and endure all the consequences associated with a traffic ticket. Many the kings of Israel and Judah failed to heed the warnings from the prophets of the Lord as being God’s compassionate grace. But the scripture tells us in 2 Chronicles 30:6-9 that:

6 At the king's command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read:
"People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."

The Lord gave them chance after chance. However, with each successor to the throne it was like father, like son—passed on to generation to generation. The kings refused to give up idol worship and destroy the pagan influences. Then God allowed Assyria to take over the land. As a result, Assyria settled in the land. When they did, lions started killing them off (2 Kings 17:26) so the king of Assyria inquired what the god of the land required and had a priest of the Lord come show them how to worship. At this time, they started worshipping the Lord. That’s a good thing right?

Well…though they worshipped the Lord but they also served their own gods as well. They did not give up their pagan practices and customs. They just added another one tradition to their list. (2 Kings 17:33) The Israelites were worshipping the Lord as well as other gods too. But the Lord told them to remember HIM. Remember what HE did for them. Not to forget HIS commandment to not worship other gods.

“Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies." They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.” 2 Kings 17: 39-41 NIV

Does that sound familiar to us today? Do we as Bible believing Christians have that type of attitude today? Are there things in our lives that the Lord detests yet we do it anyway? We cannot add God to our present values. We must allow HIM to change us and make us a new creation in Christ Jesus our Lord. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Let us ask HIM to reveal the things to us that need to be cleaned out of our lives. Are there things in our lives that need to be cleaned out? Let’s ask HIM. Ask HIM personally for you what it could be and ask HIM to show you personally what it is.

King Hezekiah of Judah did some house cleaning. He was one of the few kings who worshipped the Lord. In Second Chronicles 29 it describes how he purified the temple.

When they had assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of the LORD, as the king had ordered, following the word of the LORD. The priests went into the sanctuary of the LORD to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the LORD's temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the LORD. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the LORD. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the LORD itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month. 2 Chron 29:15-17 NIV

This was some serious house cleaning. Having Jesus Christ in our hearts, our bodies are the temple of the Lord. We need to ask HIM what needs to be moved out. What about inside our homes? Our homes should be consecrated for the Lord. Let’s ask the Lord to show us what things need to be cleaned out of our homes that do not glorify HIM.

May we be moved to live—not my way—our own way, but THE WAY of the KING of kings!

Dear Lord, I praise You for You are the Lord and worthy to be praised. I thank You for Your Word that leads us to live Your Way and not my own way. Lord, I want to live a life that is pleasing to You and the King of kings, Jesus Christ and lead by the Holy Spirit. I ask You today to reveal to me the things in my life that are not pleasing to You. I ask You to show me what things I need to move out of my life to bring hone and glory to You. I ask You to show me what things need to be cleaned out of my house so it will be a house consecrated to You. Lead me Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Blessings in Christ--

5 gracious comments:

littlerad said...

I have been there I wanted to do things my way, I only get hurt and hurt others, it is easier to do it Gods ways, I have more freedom and i'm happier...
You are in my prayers...

Bev Brandon said...

Thank you Shonda once again for delving into matters of your heart. This journey has been so rich, so convicting, to connect with God not just for insight. You are a faithful woman Shonda full of faith and kindness. Deeply appreciate your heart for HIM!

Starla said...

Very good blog. We are both on the same page. I just posted a blog today about how man sees himself as being clean. I said in my blog that I want to change saying negative words, such as hate, stupid, dumb, etc. I don't want myself saying something negative to affect some one's life.

Leah said...

I have found that doing whatever I want is a real prescription for disaster. I don't have the wisdom to make good choices. I need the wisdom of God to help me make His choices. The consequences of doing what I want are so not worth any thrill that I get from doing it.

I see on your event schedule that you are going to San Antonio for the LPL event. Let's definitely plan to meet and put faces and names together!!

Have a great day!!


Bev Brandon said...

Hey, we leave for Austin in the morning and appreciate your praying for us. Will email you next week when I get back.