May 19, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction. Throw out your calf-idol, O Samaria! My anger burns against them. How long will they be incapable of purity?" Hosea 8:4-5
It is impossible to read the history of Israel in the Bible, or to survey the world around us, without being filled with wonder at the patience, long-suffering, and forbearance of God. It would seem that all of God's mercies to the Jews were in vain, in delivering them from their bondage in Egypt, sustaining them in the wilderness, and finally bringing them into Canaan. No manifestations of His power and grace seemed sufficient to convince them of His exclusive right to their lives, or for their commitment to make Him their sovereign God. They would make for themselves idols of wood and stone and would transfer to them the allegiance that they owed to God alone. Yet, instead of breaking forth in wrathful indignation and judgment against them, God in His great grace and forbearance said of them, "How long will they be incapable of purity?"
These words are so applicable today. After all that God has done to redeem us, we are so prone to depart from Him, to seek the pleasure of our own lust, and to focus upon ourselves the glory and praise that are due to God alone. Seemingly, we have time, energy, and concern for "everything but God." How feeble are our excuses! When an opportunity for service arises, the time is not convenient. When we need to be responsible, other things occupy us. How unfaithful we are when it comes to spending time with God in the study of His Word, or in intercessory prayer for the needs and concerns of others. How needful it is for us to search our hearts to see "where Christ is" in our spiritual journey. I think we will find...He is right where we left Him. He is waiting to cleanse and reconcile us to that blessed communion we once had with Him. Just as God asked Israel, so He says to us, "How long will you be incapable of purity, of giving your heart fully unto Me?"
Peter wrote, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these, ye may be partakers of the divine nature." He seeks to forgive us of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ for salvation. He wants a renovation of our souls by the Holy Spirit. He wants our lives to conform to the mind and will of God. The result is a life of righteousness and holiness.
You say, "How can I live such a life?" I've got news for you: YOU CAN'T! Only when you surrender the control of your will to His authority can you live an effective and fruitful life for God. When our life is occupied by the fullness of the Holy Spirit, with the adequacy of Christ, there will "flow from our innermost being rivers of living water." In His strength we are destined to be "more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Paul's testimony and challenge is, "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2:14-15).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-05-19
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