Jeroboam thought to himself, "Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead." So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people, "It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!" 1 Kings 12:26-28 (NLT)
You may be thinking, I can see how one could think going all the way to Jerusalem could be too much trouble, but how could anyone that think two gold calves were the god who brought them out of Egypt? Well, the people of Israel did. Have you noticed in your own life that when something is difficult, or it takes a lot of work, faith and/or sacrifice, how easy it is to willingly be led astray?
Many years ago, when I was a new believer, I was so excited about my faith. I couldn’t think of anything more exciting than to learn how to tell someone else about Jesus. So, I went to a friend and asked her to take me out and show me how to talk to people about Jesus. Like most of us, she, in her heart, wanted to do it but was too scared. As a result, I was led astray. I learned that I should be nervous about sharing my faith rather than being excited.
I think we all struggle in our personal lives with being obedient and in following the Spirit’s leading whether it is taking enough time each day to really meet with God in His Word or to act on the nudge from the Holy Spirit to rework our plans so that we so can make that caring phone call, take time to do an act of kindness inside and outside the body of Christ, or fulfill the ministry God has for us.
Paul in Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
These verses remind us that the one who follows God lives a life of surrender, dying to self, offering all of themselves, their time, and their plans to God for His purposes. The nation of Israel conformed to Jeroboam’s words and they were led astray. There will always be people in our lives, too, who try to convince us that being committed to God is too much trouble. Do you have the courage to listen to and obey the voice of God when others are encouraging you to do otherwise?
What has God been leading you to do but it doesn’t happen because it is just too much trouble? Take a moment and ask God to show you the excuses you make for not finding enough time each day to meet God in His Word, for not being committed to worship each week with the body of Christ, or not showing up to serve faithfully in ministry. Then, start praying this week that God will change your heart.
Father, I confess that there are so many things to do in this life and that following You wholeheartedly can be too much trouble. Help me to re-evaluate how I live today and transform my thinking and my heart so that following You is my greatest joy and the most important thing in my life.
Posted on Fri, January 27, 2012
by Cathy Hurtado