Sunday, November 11, 2012

2 Kings 15

The Lord afflicted the king (Azariah/Uzziah, King of Judah) with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house.  Jotham the king’s son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. ... Jotham son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign. ... He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord ... The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple of the Lord.  ... Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David, the city of his father.

Again, Lord, may I thank You for the peaceful change of hands our government experiences compared to what could be going on within the White House walls.  Father God, please keep me from doing what is right in Your eyes, taking care of family needs, rebuilding devastated places and having success in my career but not tearing down the high places.  The high places were never long destroyed; they were a constant snare to Your people, an enduring legacy and temptation to the ways of lesser gods.  And Your kings, even when they did what was right in Your sight, managed to not remove them.  I can't imagine that You gave them peace about this or that they thought those places were okay.  But did they think about them?  Did they ask You?  Were they truly careful to do all that You asked?  Were they blinded to these high places?  Where these ancient sacrificing spots just some leftover hangouts and relics from previous generations which seemed to pose no harm, under the deceptive guise of how the folks liked to celebrate?  Were they, in truth, spiritual boundary markers of the enemy, dedicated evil areas which continued to influence Your people and draw them away from the pure worship and relationship You offer.  Were these the football stadiums, the malls, the buffets, the internet, the concerts, _______ parties, sleeping in ...  the shrugging-off of gluttony, infidelity, abuse, pride, prejudice, critical spirits and anger issues because that's how momma or daddy did it?  Were these persistent  thorns the excuses we give and cling to for our families' perpetuation of brokenness - that's the way this family rolls?  God help us.  Help me to see the high places in my life, to be a tearer down of those poles and altars which call to the flesh, where sin and the soul commune.  Lord, I need Your perspective on everything; especially the things I wrongly view as spiritual comfort food but which draw me away from You - even when it is merely a mindless activity.  Time is not mine to gamble with, it is a gift, a trust You bestow on me to steward well.  Show me the high places and fix in my heart and hands that which I need to decimate them, to the praise of Your Name and the release of Your power in long held enemy strongholds.  You are my Stronghold, I need no other.  I desire none other.

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