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All Mixed-Up

2 Kings 17:41
So these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children’s children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day.

I was talking with my father-in-law last night about the challenges in planting a church in Irvine. He's been a part of the process as a member of our church and knows the ups and downs. We agreed that is is a difficult thing to fight the culture, especially in an area that is so affluent. I do know that there are man people in our community who passionately and uncompromisingly follow Jesus. But I also know that many people who consider temselves to be Christians have become a little mixed up as they have mixed into thier beliefs other things that they worship.

In this passage, the nation of Israel has been divided into 2 kingdoms for more generations that they were united. The northern kingdom, Israel, had been conquored by vairuous surrounding nations which with each invation came a different form of religion and a different set of gods to worship. At this time there was a resurgence of worship to thier God as the priests of Israel called them to return. Vs.33 describes the situation well - "They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away." It's like they knew enough to want to do what is right but were unable to detatch themselves from the lifestyle that they had grown accostomed to.

What rituals of my "carried-away culture" have I allowed to get mixed into my life as a follower of Jesus? I know that the amount of television I watch is a major contributing factor. How many times do I need to watch SportsCenter? Do I really need to know what were the top 100 one-hit wonders? Has HGTV become some wierd kind of suburban pornography, as I lust for new landscaping or a new remodeling project somewhere in my house? The worship of "keeping up with the Jones'" is a point of mixture. The desire for new cars and bigger houses, while not a totally carnal one, does breed dissatisfaction in my life. Authentic worship of the true God should be producing satisfaction with Him and dissatisfaction with the things of this life. It's easy to let it become the other way around.

The cost of living iin this duality s huge. In the passage today, it says that this kind of mixed-up heart went on for generations, even continuing to this day. I dont want my children to live in confusion - fearing God, but worshipping man-made ones. This is a reminder to keep my own heart pure, and my devotion solely directed.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 30, 2003 12:00 AM.

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