In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. Judges 21:25
For several hundred years, after the Israelites had taken over the land of Canaan, they had different men who would lead the nation. While a judge would lead the people, they would follow God. As soon as the person died, they would walk away from God.
Once they walked away from God, He would allow them to be overrun by another nation. While being overrun, they would cry out to God for help and God would send another leader. This occurred over and over.
After the last judge had died, the people had no leader, nor any king. At this time, every person did whatever he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted. It was a time of chaos.
The hearts of people have not changed since that time with the Israelites. People still want to do what they want, when they want and how they want. They strive to find ways around the laws to be able to do their own thing. Often many will just break the law to what they want to do.
Many in the church have also fallen into the same pattern as the Israelites. They want to do whatever they want to do with no regard to God and His commands. It is common to see open sin accepted and even promoted inside a church. People do not care about what God wants or desires. Some do this out of ignorance of God’s commands, while many do it ignoring God’s commands.
It is during this time of actions, that people do not have a king. The king of every believer is supposed to be Jesus, however, they are not really following Him. They are following this world and themselves. Every person needs a leader to guide them correctly. God gave Jesus, who gave His Holy Spirit to lead and guide His people.
Although in the world’s eyes you may have the right to do whatever you want to do, however you belong to God. You are to do what He desires you to do.
Allow yourself to be led by the King of kings and Lord of lords. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in the ways of God, not your own ways.
Do not be guilty of doing your own thing as the Israelites were. Let God guide you.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior and King; that you will know what God wants of you; that you will not live as the world does; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; and that you will serve God with all of your life.
The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Judges 7:2
When a person does something, he usually automatically thinks that he did it himself, with no other help. People often forget those that had helped them get to where they are at and believe that they did it in their own strength and power.
The Israelites had been under control of the Midianites for a time. After crying out to God, He decided to raise up Gideon to destroy the Midianites. Gideon had brought together a large army, that was large enough to fight back at the Midianites. God immediately said that he had too many men to fight. If they fought and won, the Israelites would think that they did it themselves without the help of God. They would then go back to following false idols rather than God.
Although people forget about other people who have helped them get to where they are, there are very few who remember God’s help in the situation. Since God is unseen, they often do not give Him the credit He deserves.
Ultimately there is nothing that a person can do without the help of God. A person cannot even breath or move without God’s favor. A person cannot even be born without the hand of God in it.
It is easy to think that self did it, when God is unseen, but God is still there. Every believer must keep His focus on God and God’s abilities, not the abilities of self. Everything that a believer can do, is done only because God gave that ability.
He must not allow pride to come in thinking that he did it all by himself.
There will come times when you appear to accomplish some great task. Be careful to give God the credit for what was done, rather than take it on yourself. God is the One who is to be in control of your whole life, not you.
When others honor you with a great work done, turn the honor over to God and tell others that it is by His grace and power you did what you did. Do not allow pride to destroy you or turn you away from trusting God with everything in your life.
Let God be the One in control with the power.
I pray today that you will know the power of God in your life; that you will not try to do things without God; that you will allow God to work through you, using you; and that you will allow God to remove all pride in your life.
“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.” Joshua 24:23
In this world self is very important. Everything is about self. People are looking at how they can make it for themselves. They want to be pleased and served, before serving others. They want to be taken care of first, above everyone else.
Self is the greatest ‘god’ on this earth. It rises above everything else and any other belief. From birth, most children are to believe in self and are told that they can do anything they want, as long as they try hard. With this training and thinking, people grow up to be doing things for self and not about God or anyone else.
As people focus on self, they cannot yield to others or God. It is all about self and promotion of self.
As Joshua was preparing for his death, he told the people to get rid of all foreign gods and yield their hearts to God.
The Israelites were dealing with physical idols and false gods in their lives. They were to get rid of these idols and gods, so that they could yield their heart to God. They were to stop being about self and follow God with everything that is in them.
Yielding to God is allowing God to take control. He becomes the focus. He is what everything is about. It is no longer about self, but God and His kingdom.
Most people, today, do not physically bow down to idols, but they do worship false gods all the time. They bow to their careers, money, drugs, sex, music, and self. They believe that self is the greatest thing in this world. They don’t have time for God.
There are also many in the church who don’t make time for God.
God wants your whole heart and life. To yield to Him is to give Him absolute control over your heart and life.
Allow God to be the one who makes your heart glad. Allow God to be the one who gives you purpose and meaning in this life.
As you yield your heart to God, you will be able to get rid of the foreign gods in your life, the gods of this world–self, greed, pride, anger, rage, immorality, and more.
Who will you yield to?
Self and this world?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will help you turn from all false gods; that you will yield your whole heart and life to God; and that you will serve God with all of your heart.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
The world does not like to have rules and commands placed up them. No one minds setting down rules for the other person, but never for themselves. Rules restrict their freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want. In the eyes of the world it is a death sentence to real living.
God had laid down some rules for man to follow, yet even with the simplest of rules–don’t eat of a certain tree–man was unable to keep that rule. The law then had power of death over the person and all of mankind. Jesus had come to die on the cross to break that power of the law and make it possible for a person to live for God.
In order to live for God, a person must die to self and the power of the law. He must crucify himself and die.
A dead person cannot do anything on his own. His body is lifeless and of no value in itself. For that body to move, someone else must do the work.
Once a believer has been crucified and died to self and sin, he can no longer do anything on his own. He needs some outside help to move, think, speak and act.
This is where Christ and His Holy Spirit comes in. God has sent His Holy Spirit to come and live in the believer. His Holy Spirit is what gives the body the ability to live, move, think, speak and act. God’s Holy Spirit will only act the way God acts.
In this way, a believer will be able to live according to God’s commands. He will have God’s power to give him strength to turn from sin and to do what God wants.
If you are having problems following God’s commands and struggling to do what God wants you to do, allow yourself to be crucified. Die and let God resurrect you by His Holy Spirit. Let God’s Holy Spirit guide you and speak and act through you.
Live by faith, trusting God knows what is best for you to say, think, and do. Be a dead man walking in Christ.
I pray today that you will live for God alone; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will live in the strength of God; and that you will live by faith in God.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
When some people accept Jesus into their lives, they feel that they are now saved and nothing more needs to be done. They continue to live life the same way that they always have. However, Paul points out that there must be a change.
The old way of life is life being lived without God in the picture. That life appears to be a great life–being fun and free, doing what one wants to do. Yet, it is corrupted. That life is filled with death. Just as a single cancer cell spreads through a body and eventually can kill it, so does the sinful life slowly spread through the whole body killing it.
You are to put of that old self. You are to turn away from your old sinful habits. The best way to do that is to renew your mind. Instead of thinking like the world does in what is in it for me, think about what is in it for God and others. Think about what does God want for you right now.
When you start thinking about what God wants for you, you will then start living like God does. You are to live a life that mirrors the life of Jesus. You are to live a life that is truly righteous and holy.
Every believer is to be holy. To be holy is to live your life without sin in it. Only Jesus can take away the sin, but once He has removed it, don’t pick it back up again. Live the life Jesus did.
Do not allow any more corruption in your life. Renew your mind and live for God. It is an abundant life that the world cannot give you.
I pray today that God will guide you in renewing your mind; that you will turn away from your old self; that you will live a righteous and holy life for God; and that God will guide you in how to live your life for Him.