For my devotions, I have been reading through the Bible from beginning to end. I love doing this, because it is just like looking through a giant storybook full of lessons and values weaving together into a culmination of events that climaxes with the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. What is so amazing about this story is that it is 3D, because it includes every reader and it continues on forever and ever!
I have started on the second time through, and am struck with a certain phrase each time I get to the story of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
1 Kings 3:3
And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: ONLY he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
1 Kings 15:14
BUT the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.
1 Kings 22:43
And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: NEVERTHELESS the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places.
These men were so close to where they should have been. They had served and pleased the Lord in every area – EXCEPT – they allowed the high places stand!
Does this not make you sad?
What more could have been done in their lives? How might God have used them?…..if they had followed through with EVERYTHING in EVERY AREA?
I then wonder about myself. What area have I allowed to stay built up in my life? I may tithe regularly, go on mission trips, and please God in almost everything I do; but what about the jealousy or discontent that I allow to stand? Is my relationship with God being hindered because I left “the high places” unbroken?
I think the saddest thing to hear about myself at the end of my life would be the words- “her heart was perfect with the Lord all of her days – except- she left the high places stand!”
I want to go the WHOLE way, even if it costs me dearly or is uncomfortable. I want the Lord to say that I was perfect in all my days. Period. No “but”, “only”, “nevertheless”, “however”, or clause that follows that statement with an area that was not surrendered.
Let’s get busy tearing those high places down!