Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Ezekiel 44:9 Restricted Entry

Restricted area

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites. Ezekiel 44:9 

All over the world there are places that people have set up that have restrictions as to who is allowed to enter. Nearly every business has places within it where the majority of people are blocked from entering the area. The location is only allowed for those who work there or have special permission to enter, everyone is blocked from it.

Often the block is due to protection for the company and for the outsider. Some places require special equipment to enter. Other places have information in that is not to be released to just anyone.

God had just shown Ezekiel a vision of the restored temple. He then tells Ezekiel that no outsider is allowed into the temple.

The temple was the holy dwelling place for God to be among the people. In order for one to enter, he had to be purified and be a true follower of God. No one else was allowed to enter.

Since the time of Ezekiel, God has set up His temple in the hearts of believers. God is still telling people that no outsider is allowed to enter His temple.

Instead of just being physical beings entering, today it is false idols, greed, pride, anger, and sin that are to be not allowed to enter. People allow these things into their hearts and lives. When sin is allowed into the heart, one is pushing God off of His throne in the heart, which is His temple, His dwelling place.

The heart is the dwelling place for God, and nothing else should be allowed in that place. Nothing spiritual, physical or emotional should be allowed into the heart that does not honor God. The heart belongs to God and to God alone.

Take a moment to examine what is allowed into your heart. Think about what things you allow your heart to follow and hold on to. Are these things the things of God? Or are they the things of this world?

When you became a follower of Jesus, He gave you a new heart, because your heart became God’s dwelling place, a holy temple. Keep it pure and holy for God to dwell in. Do not allow sin or this world to move God off of His throne in your heart. Restrict access to your heart to God alone.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give your entire life to God; that you will allow God to reign in your heart and life; and that you will serve God alone.

Ezekiel 23:37 Adultery And Sacrifice

Green plan in field

for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them. Ezekiel 23:37 

Everyday people all over the world are seeking ways to make their own lives better. They want to be happier and have more things and a better life. In order to make this happen, they are often willing to do just about anything and everything.

In the process of seeking happiness, people will bow down to many different idols and are willing to sacrifice just about anything it takes. It is all about pleasing self.

God speaks to Ezekiel and gives a picture of what Israel had been doing. They are described as two sisters who were to be married to God, but had prostituted themselves to idols and sacrificed children to those idols.

In many parts of the world, most people would say that they refuse to worship idols or make human sacrifices. However, the reality is that many people bow down to worship their jobs, positions, titles, money, and things. As they bow down to worship these things, giving their lives to these things, they also begin to be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to get them.

Abortion is the modern way of saying that one is sacrificing to an idol. Worshipping the idol of self, money, job, or nearly anything else, people are willing to sacrifice a baby by abortion and think nothing of it.

While most in the church do not agree with abortion, there are many who do allow themselves to bow to other idols and sacrifices outside of God. They sacrifice time with their children to raise them in a God-fearing way of living. Do not sacrifice what is not yours to sacrifice.

Believers are to sacrifice their own lives to God and to God alone. God is the only one that anyone should be worshipping and sacrificing to.

Examine your life and determine who are you really worshipping and married too. What you give your life’s energy and focus to is what you worship.

Be willing to lay down your life for God and die daily to yourself. God will give you His life that will last for eternity. Sacrifice your life on the altar before God and allow Him to raise you up to eternal life.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will dedicate your life to worshipping and serving God; that you will only sacrifice to God; that you will serve God alone; and that you will not commit spiritual adultery against God. 

Ezekiel 14:6 Repent And Turn

Faded person on railroad

Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!’ Ezekiel 14:6 

Admission of having done something wrong is not something that most people like or are willing to do. Most often people will attempt to excuse their behavior or actions away. In excusing their actions, many will attempt to blame others or society for why they are the way they are or why they did what they did.

Very rarely do people see that what they are doing may be wrong. Actions are done because it seems right in their own eyes and many others are already doing it, so it must be acceptable.

God points out to Ezekiel that the elders of Israel, who had came to Ezekiel, were hiding idols in their hearts. God tells them to repent and get rid of the idols in their hearts.

In some nations, physical idols are still worshipped by the people. In many countries, physical idol worship is rarely seen. Most people realize that they physical idol is really nothing at all.

However, in every country, people set up and worship idols in their hearts. There are things that they hold onto in their hearts over anything else, including God.

Sinful practices are idols that are inside the heart. Some of these practices are: greed, selfishness, pride, hatred, vengeance, lying, cheating, sexual thoughts, and more. Most often these are inside the heart set up against God and His ways.

It is common for believers to hide these secret sins in their hearts to the point that they are idols in their hearts.

God tells the people to repent and turn from all these idols. It is either worship God alone, or worship the false gods. It is not both.

Only you and God knows what is in your heart and what is on the throne of your heart. Very few people do not have some idol in their heart that goes against God. You have to make a choice as to who or what will be on the throne of your heart.

You may choose to live in sin or hide sin or idols in your heart, but then there is the consequence of God’s judgement against you for those sins. You can also choose to be forgiven.

To be forgiven, you must repent of those idols and turn to God. Turn away from sin and accept God’s forgiveness and receive His life for you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will help you to see any idols in your heart; that you will repent of any sins before God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart. 

Ezekiel 11:18 Returning And Cleaning Up

Dirty room

They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. Ezekiel 11:18 

During times of cleaning, it is common for a person to ignore certain areas. They are sort of out of sight, out of mind, so why clean it. It is often thought that there should be nothing there to clean when it is unseen or unused. However, dirt does still compile in all areas.

Leaving a place empty will cause it to get dirty with dust and dirt over time that settles every where. When a person returns to it, he must clean it up to have it prepared to be used again.

At the time of Ezekiel, the Israelites were in captivity, but only for a time. God was going to gather them together again and return them to their land. At the time they return to their land, they would clean it up again, removing all the idols that ere there.

Before becoming a believer, every person has some idols and vile images in his life. The world promotes sin and idol worship. At the time of becoming a believer all these idols must be removed.

However, some will go back to those idols and worship them some more, rejecting God. In the process, God may cause the person to go into exile to get his attention. God’s hand of blessing and provision may be lifted for a time to draw the person back to Him.

Once the person returns to God, the house needs to be cleaned up. Removal of sin and sinful practices must occur. The believer’s heart must be dedicated to serving God and God alone, not being divided between God and idols.

This cleaning is not a one time cleaning, but an ongoing cleaning. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in cleaning the heart of a person and keeping it pure for God to work with.

As with the Israelites, there are idols that you had worshipped in your past. Allow God to clean up your past and remove those idols. Move away from those idols and worship God alone.

Jesus came to remove sin and cleanse you from all sin. Allow Him to do so in your life. Do not allow yourself to go back and pick up those worthless idols, but clean them out of your life. Have a clean temple for God to dwell in.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God’s Holy Spirit to clean up your life; that you will not return to old idols of sin; that your life will be focused upon God; and that you will be a clean temple for God to dwell in.