2007-12-12 - High Places
2 Kings 15:4, "Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places."
We read in the Old Testament, concerning the Kings of Israel and Judah that some did right in the eyes of the Lord, and some did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Irrespective of how these leaders are judged in Scripture, there is one thing that is common. Both the evil kings and the good kings still either allowed the people to sacrifice on the high places, or even themselves did so. Some of the kings appeared to follow the Lord, but they did not follow the Lord wholeheartedly. The high places remained. The worship of other gods besides the Lord, was permitted by the kings. As a result, the people of God suffered. They experienced God's displeasure, and became the subjects of the heathen nations that surrounded them. From this, there is much for us to learn.
The people knew what they should do, but refused to do it. They knew what they should not do, and did it anyway. This was true of kings and the common people. Who of us will not admit that they are just like they were? How often do we know right and do wrong? We are given understanding in God's Lord, but we ignore what it says. Or, worse, we are not students of God's Holy Word, and we don't even know what it says. The result is that we end up sacrificing on the high places, or its modern day equivalent. We end up living lives that are not consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Did I just say we are to live lives that are consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ? Yes, I did. That is the standard. It takes many forms, but Christian - you are no longer your own. You gave up your high places when you came to Christ. I speak to myself first, but Child of God, I promise you that the standard the Lord sets for our service, love, sanctification, and duty are higher than we are currently setting ourselves. Living a consecrated life to the Lord does not require some monastic separation from the world. It means that our hearts have separated from the many cares and demands of the world, and we yield to one demand only. That demand is to follow what the Lord tells us in His Word.
I don't know what your high places are. I do know that we all have them. We all have things that we have yet to fully yield to the Lord. We all have things that take us away from the Lord. We see in Scripture that it is marked for all to see that the high places were not taken away. It is said to their same and disgrace. Let it not be to our dishonor that we have parts of our lives which do not belong to the Lord. He who has forgiven all our sin deserves our whole being. We are to hold nothing back from being under His authority.
Soli Deo Gloria,