Judges 2:19 Following In Action, Not In Heart

People walking

But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshipping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Judges 2:19 

It is very common for people to follow the rules when the boss or some authority is around. They feel the eyes of the authority on them and choose to follow all of the rules. This is often done, because they do not want to be punished for doing wrong.

Others will also jump on the band wagon of following the rules of the leader when everyone else is doing it. It is the thing to do, not necessarily what they really want to do.

However, most of those same people will change their ways as soon as the authority is out of sight. They will go back to the old ways of wrong ways of doing things.

God had began to raise up judges or leaders to lead the people. While the judge was living and things were going good, they would follow and obey God. As soon as the judge died, the people went back to their corrupt ways, even worse than before, worshipping and following false gods. Following God was not really the center of their heart.

People have not changed. Children in Christian homes often follow God while at home, but often fall away when they leave home. They follow God when under the eyes of their parents, but God is not a part of their heart.

Adults do the same. On Sunday many people follow God and serve Him, when under the eyes of other believers or the pastor. On Monday, they return to their old ways of sin, because the pastor cannot see them anymore. God is not really a part of their heart.

As a believer, God has to be a part of your heart’s desire. He needs to be the One you want more than anything, at any time, and for any cost.

When God is this much a part of your heart, you will not purposefully return to sinful ways. You will be seeking His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you to live for Him. You will make mistakes, but you will quickly return because of His great love and mercy.

Ask yourself today who or what is really your heart’s desire.

Is it God?

Or the things of this world?

I pray today that you will personally know God; that you will desire God with all of your heart; that you will follow God with all of your heart; and that God will strengthen and guide you in His ways.

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Judges 21:25 Doing What They Want

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. Judges 21:25

Throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites would stop serving God and follow various idols. God would then bring another nation in to punish them. After a while they would start to serve God again, so He would give them a judge to defeat the enemy, then they would go back to their idols again. This happened over and over on a regular basis. The final verse of the book states that everyone did as they wanted.

When everyone does as they want to do, there is chaos and disorder. There is no unity or law. While it is happening, everyone thinks it is great because everyone is free. Being free, to most people, means you can do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it.

People everywhere in America are talking about their being free to live as they want to live. Around the world in many countries, more and more people are starting to stand up for their freedom. When this type of living in freedom occurs, chaos starts to happen. Rules are ignored and people are hurting each other.

God has never meant freedom to be that way. Freedom is to do the right thing all the time. God laid down many rules on how to live your life. These rules are not meant to harm you or slow you down, they are there to protect you and help you live the best life possible.

Your freedom is not to do what you want, but to be free to live for God. When you live your life for God, you will live the best life possible. It may not be filled with wealth and fame, but it will be filled with love and peace. Without love and peace you have nothing. All wealth and fame is worthless without love and peace.

How are you living your life?

Are you living for God?

Or are you just doing what you want to do, bringing chaos into your life?

I pray today that you will know the desires of God for your life; that you will live your life for God; that you will not use your freedom to live in sin; and that you will know the love and peace of Jesus in your life.

Judges 16:17 Giving In To Pressure

So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazarite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” Judges 16:17

Samson was a child God had given his parents when they were unable to have a child. He was dedicated to God at birth to be a Nazarite. There were certain vows that were made to God that had to be kept.

As a Nazarite, God gave him supernatural power and strength. When he married Delilah, the Philistines threatened her to get her to find out the secret of his strength. After lying to her several times, Samson gives into her pressure and tells the truth. She then has his hair cut and he loses his strength and is captured by the Philistines.

Pressure is what gets something to work. The build up of pressure from the gas being on fire in an engine is what starts to move the pistons, which in turn gets the engine running and moving the car down the road.

However, pressure can also be done in a way that is not good. The world will always try to pressure a believer into doing something wrong or allowing something wrong to be done.

Delilah put a lot of pressure on Samson to tell her the truth about his strength. The world will put the pressure on you to give in to temptations or to reveal something that is to be kept secret.

There will be times God will tell you something that is not to be shared. It is only for you to know. Do not allow the world to pressure you in to revealing that information. Do not allow the world to pressure you to sin against God.

God is stronger than the one who is in this world and He is in you. He can give you the strength to withstand the pressure.

Are you relying on His strength to overcome the pressure?

Or are you relying on your own strength to overcome the pressure?

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for you; that you will recognize pressure that is against you and God; that you will not give into pressure to sin; and that God will strengthen you to stand up for Him under pressure.

Judges 10:15-16 Admitting Sin

But the Israelites said to the LORD, “We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.” Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD. And he could bear Israel’s misery no longer. Judges 10:15-16

The Israelites had started worshipping various idols and rejecting God, so God allowed the Ammonites to come in and begin to take over. The Israelites were under much persecution and torment. After a time of this, they chose to go before God to get help. They had admitted that they had sinned against God and chose to get rid of their idols in order to serve God. They gave God the option of what to do with them because of their sin, but they wanted relief from the enemy.

When a person chooses to reject God and follow idols after serving Him, He usually allows it, but will also allow the enemy to come in and cause torment. The peace and comfort a person had with God will be gone. Things will not work out in the same way as with God.

The purpose of God allowing the enemy to come in is to work to get the person back to Him.

When things are going bad, most people will turn to God. They do not often look at what brought them to that point, but know that they need God to help them.

You may or may not be in this position right now. When you do get into that position, the important thing is to admit your sin to God. Admit that you have walked away from Him. Turn from those sins, and turn back to God.

Allow God to have control of your life again.

As you do this, God will work to restore your life to Him. God does not like to see His people in misery, but He also cannot accept sin in their lives.

Do not be like the Israelites and turn to God just to be helped out of trouble. Turn to Him with all of your heart and life. Serve and worship Him daily in every area of your life.

God will then help you through every situation in your life.

I pray today that you will admit to God your sins and repent of them; that you will turn from all idols to God alone; that you will allow God to lead your life; and that you will stay away from all sin in your life.

Judges 8:23-24 Going Back To Idols

No sooner had Gideon died then the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their God and did not remember the LORD their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. Judges 8:23-24

Under God’s direction, with three hundred men, Gideon had defeated the Midianites and set the Israelites free again. While he was alive the people served and followed God. As soon as Gideon had died the people started worshipping idols again and rejected God.

When a person is around another believer it is easy to follow God. The other person keeps him accountable to following God. However, when that person is not around, it is common to see the person stop following God.

This happens as children are raised in a Christian home, but when they leave home to go off to college, they reject God, because their parents are not there to point them to God.

Every Sunday, there are many people who go to church and appear to be serving God very well. When Monday comes they are a completely different person. They serve self and this world and reject God. They quickly go back to idols.

It is the peer pressure of those around them. They act according to the ways of who is around them. Israel did the same thing. When Gideon was around, they followed God. When he was gone, they did as the nations around them did, worshipping Baal.

In your life, you should be focused on following God. This should happen regardless of who is following Him or who is not following Him. It should happen regardless of who is around you.

Do not allow the world to be an influence on you, be the influence in this world. Do not go back to the idols of this world, but serve and worship God each and everyday.

Do not allow yourself to go back to your old ways, but live for God.

Are you worshipping God alone?

Or have you returned to some idols?

I pray today that you will focus your life on worshipping God alone; that you will not be led to worship idols; that God will strengthen you to reject all idols in your life; and that you will live for God alone.

 

Judges 6:15 Who, Me?

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15

The Israelites had turned away from God and started worshipping false idols. God gave them into the hands of the Midianites, who oppressed them severely. After a time they cried out to God for help.

God sent an angel to Gideon to tell him that he was the one to deliver the people from the Midianites. Gideon questions God saying that his clan was the weakest and that in his class and family, he was the least.

There are times in life when God will ask someone to do something very grand. It may be something he has never done before and is a larger undertaking than he has ever done. The first question many people have is who…me?

Most people do not see themselves as doing anything really great for God or in this world. They may have tried various things and have failed, so they give up dreaming big. They do not see as God sees things. They do not believe in the power and abilities of God. They see themselves as weak little failures that cannot do anything for God.

As a believer, these types of thoughts should never enter your mind or heart. In Jesus you are more than a conqueror. Jesus gave you all His power, and He has absolute authority and all power on this earth. If Jesus can take a few fish and feed thousands, or calm a stormy sea, or part the waters, or raise the dead, don’t you think that He can do great things through you?

David was just a little shepherd boy, when God called him to be a king. Gideon was just a man trying to make a living, when God called him to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites.

What is God calling you to do?

How are you answering Him? Yes, send me. Or are you saying, “who, me”?

Allow God to use you in great ways today and everyday. Be open to what He wants to do in and through you.

I pray today that you will hear God’s calling for your life; that you will trust God in what He wants you to do; that you will rely on God’s strength and direction; and that God will use you to bring many to Jesus in this world.

Judges 2:20-22 Consequence Of Disobedience

Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their ancestors did.” Joshua 2:20-22

Shortly after Joshua and the leaders who were with him had died, the Israelites started following other gods. They refused to follow God any more. Since they would not follow God, He chose to leave some nations in the land to be a torment and trouble to them. It would test them to see if they would turn back to Him or not.

God gives favor to His people and to those who support His people. Today, this is more than just the nation of Israel, it is every person who believes in and follow Jesus.

When a person follows Jesus, He has a favor that defies logic. This does not mean everything will go perfectly well, but that everything will work out for the best in the end. He will have a peace in the midst of trials and tribulations, because he knows that God is in control and is only working out the best for him.

Homes, communities, towns, cities, states, and nations can all receive the favor of God, if the majority of the people are following Jesus. When the people stop following Jesus, chaos comes with no peace. God’s peace passes all understanding. It is a peace despite what is going on.

How are you contributing to your family, city, and nation today?

Are you serving and following Jesus with all of your heart, soul and mind?

Or are you choosing to follow the ways of this world and rejecting Jesus?

What you do can and will have an effect on other people. It can bring the favor of God, or the rejection of God’s favor on you and on others. Follow God and allow Him to drive out the enemies in your life and in lives of others around you.

I pray today that you will follow the ways of Jesus with all of your heart; that you will not reject God in any area of your life; that you will know the favor God gives you; and that you will be a witness to others around you.