One Day at a Time Devotional
Often when traveling around a city, town, places of business and even homes, you will find a sign giving the date of establishment on various buildings. For instance, our church was established on October 20, 2002 or my family was established on the day my husband and I got married on May 28, 1994. The date of establishment is something to be proud of for several reasons. A couple of these important reasons are the opportunities to measure longevity and past successes.
Each of us have a date of established birth, for myself it was on October 8, 1976 and unfortunately there will be a date of established death as well. For many of us there was a date of establishment in our relationship with the Lord. As an example, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior on November 10, 1996. This is a date and time I never forget and as the date approaches each year, I begin to reflect on everything that the Lord has done in my life and I thank Him for another year to serve Him. Simply put, the word established is defined in this case as: having taken root, growing well and is recognized and accepted in a particular capacity.
When you and I got saved, we were recognized and accepted as a child of God through Jesus Christ. It was at this moment of spiritual birth that we became a new creature, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17. We are told in Romans 10:13 that we can establish salvation through calling upon the name of the Lord.
It takes a measure of faith in the Lord to be established in your relationship with God. It takes faith to be saved and it takes faith to continue your relationship with Him. In our above verse, the preacher Isaiah is delivering a message from God to King Ahaz the king of Judah. King Ahaz was a wicked ruler who sacrificed his oldest son to false gods. During the reign of Ahaz, the kings of Syria and Israel went to war against him. Yet, God in His mercy comforted Ahaz with the knowledge that these kingdoms would not last and within sixty-five years Ephraim would be destroyed. God further gave the wicked Ahaz a look into the future and prophesied Christ’s virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14.
During the time of Ahaz’s reign, Judah and Israel worshiped false gods, but in II Kings 17:33 the Bible says, They feared the Lord and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. The people of Israel and Judah wanted to have a little bit of God in their lives and have false gods, too. They lacked the faith or belief it took to trust the one true God. So, they included these false gods to meet their emotional, intellectual, and physical needs. In short, they wanted the best of both worlds without the commitment to one or the other.
Often, without realizing or maybe even admitting it, we are guilty of the same sin. It is clear throughout Scripture (ex. Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:7, 6:14, just to name a few) that we are not to worship other gods. Unfortunately, we are all guilty of placing something or someone before our daily time with God. Perhaps, you have your daily devotions, but you are not faithful to church because it’s hard to get out of bed. Maybe, you allow the urgent circumstances of life like work, exercise, clubs, school, relationships or child-rearing to distract you from your time with God and church or you are more excited about spending time with someone than you are when spending time with God.
I am simply asking where is your heart? Is God priority in your life, does He come first or is He getting the crumbs of your life at the end of the day or maybe nothing at all? Have you lost your excitement surrounding the things of God? Is your heart warm or cold towards Him? Do you look forward to reading your Bible, praying, going to church and serving God or is it just another duty to mark off your “To Do List” for the week? Is there some false god in disguise that has taken precedence in your life?
If you are struggling with your desire to know and serve God, pray and check your heart to see if there is anything between Him and you. Ahaz didn’t become wicked overnight, it took a gradual walking away from God and a walking to the things of this world. God promised Ahaz in Isaiah 7:9b that he would be established if he believed. You can be established in your relationship with the Lord also, not just through salvation which is important, but through a continual and flourishing growth. This type of growth will take work and it will take placing God first and desiring those things which are eternal and not temporal. This type of growth will take a faith or belief that God can do it and He can do it through you. Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
My challenge to you today is to put away your false gods of worldly distractions and seek God first. As I stated earlier, there is an established date of birth and an established date of death, what will you do with the hyphen between these dates? Will you serve yourself and gravitate towards the world, will you live a good life filled with good works, but no godliness or will you seek the kingdom of God first and let Him meet all of your needs. You can have faith in God, you can be established in your relationship with Him and you can do it through Christ which strengthens you!
& One Day at a Time Devotional,
a ministry of Riverview Baptist Church