Allegiance, Battles, Belief, Bible, Blasphemy, Darkness, Devil, Evil, Godliness, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Idols, Satan, Scripture

SORCERY FORBIDDEN

MICAH 5:12

“‘I will eliminate sorceries from your hand, and you will have no fortune-tellers.’”

I will never forget the evening when I lived in Lakeland, FL when my wife and I decided to go to the local outdoor mall. It was new to Lakeland and had become a major evening and weekend destination because of the shops, restaurants and entertainment. We were walking along, and while my wife looked in one shop, I decided to step into this store that caught my attention. As I walked in, a chill ran up my spine. All I saw was occultic images and products. I ran out of that store as fast as I could. Such darkness.

This is what the Lord is cutting out of the land. No sorcery or fortune telling would be allowed. These were based in the pagan idolatry of the land, the very thing the Lord had warned the people of when they came into the Promised Land. Nothing had changed. These evil practices were still around and were now going to be purged. Evil was evil then and still is now.

APPLICATION

So many Christians today dabble in the occult, thinking it is frivolous or meaningless. Satan loves for us to believe that. I am not saying that a demon is going jump out of the Ouija board and tackle you to the ground, but the devil has a way to hook us into this stuff. Tarot cards and astrology are still listed in God’s eyes as sorcery and fortune-telling. That has not changed.

If you are into these things or have been in the past, let me urge you to put them down and confess that as sin. Renounce any allegiance you had to these items and get rid of them. Burn them if you can. Does this all sound extreme? You bet. Our battle with the forces of darkness is real and extreme. You must have your armor on and be free from any form of darkness.

Once you do that and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, He will make you very sensitive to these things. You will be able to recognize any form of idolatry. God wants you and me to walk in holiness, free from the entanglements of evil. Walking free is so much easier than dragging around a chain of darkness.

O Father, thank You for protecting me from evil. I know You have my back at all times.

Standard
Abiding, Allegiance, Battles, Bible, Commands, Enemies, Judgment, Leading

UNDER SIEGE

MICAH 5:1

“Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; they have laid siege against us; with a rod they will strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.”

I recently read this great book by David Hosaflook about Marin Barleti’s first-hand account of the siege of Shkodra. It was a detailed description of the horrors of the siege. The assault on that city was a terrible loss of life and property. Reading about the way, however, the people of Shkodra fought was inspiring.

Now, the Lord tells the people that the siege is coming. They knew about sieges. They had faced them before. They could only imagine how bad it would get, but this was their own doing. They had dishonored their God and had to face the consequences.

APPLICATION

Sometimes in our lives we feel we are under siege. It seems the whole world has gathered its forces against us and is battering down the front door. Bills pile up. The car breaks down. Your child gets suspended from school. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

In times like these, we must do as the Lord told the people – we must muster our troops. What does that mean? We look to our commander. No troops are effective without a leader. We have one in Jesus Christ. He knows the best defense. He knows the best offense. He will guide us through these hard times, if we will let Him.

I have gone through my share of hard times, some harder than others. I have not always looked to my commander. At times, I have tried to muster my own troops and lead myself. That usually ended with another defeat. But when I looked to Jesus and rested in Him, I got through that battle. You can too if you will just look to Him.

I am grateful for Your Son, Jesus, leading me in my hardest times. He is forever faithful.

Standard
Abiding, Advocate, Allegiance, Bible, Blessing, Commitment, Eternity, Heaven

AS FOR US

MICAH 4:5

“Though all the peoples walk, each in the name of his god, as for us, we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.”

We all have to choose our allegiance to something. Even though I was born in the U.S. and am a citizen by birth, I still swear my allegiance to my country. It is not perfect, but I love it. If called on to defend it, I would not hesitate. When our national anthem is played and I see our American flag waving in the breeze, my heart swells with proud. I have chosen this country as my own.

Micah is declaring that the people of God will swear their allegiance to the LORD their God and walk in His name. They had for too long sworn a false allegiance. They said they loved God but welcomed in the pagan gods. They were not true and loyal to Jehovah. All that has changed now, and Micah writes words that ring similar to the ones we hear Joshua say in the last part of Joshua 24:15 – “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

APPLICATION

To whom does your heart belong? When we come to Christ and surrender our lives to Him, we must give Him all our heart. He deserves our utmost devotion and praise, no matter what our current circumstances may be. He is a watchful king who protects His citizens.

As His children, we are citizens of heaven already. The U-Haul truck just hasn’t showed up yet to move us home. As a citizen of heaven, I need to be thinking about it as I speak to people. I need to invite as many as I can to join me there. We want to pack that place, even though there will be room for everyone who surrenders to Christ.

Some people preach that there are many ways to reach our heavenly home. There is only one – Jesus Christ. Only He can usher us into the kingdom one day. Only He shed His blood to ransom our souls. Only He died, was buried and rose again the third day. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

I can’t wait to see my heavenly home, Lord. I know You have been preparing it just for me.

Standard