When I got married to the love of my life, I stepped into the aisle with him afterward bearing his name. I didn't send him one way as I chose to go back the way I came. It wasn't possible to be united with him and apart simultaneously...nor did I want it to be possible.
It is a familiar passage of Scripture that stirs us to prayer - the Words that the Lord spoke to those called by His Name. I recently sensed very strongly the combination of two elements of this verse, and there was a fresh awareness that one cannot be done without the other...
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
How often do we choose to seek His face yet somehow dare to try and cling to our own ways? Seeking the face of the Lord requires humility, and humility flows from a repentant heart. We can't have it both ways, nor should we want it both ways.
In a different passage of Scripture there was a group of people that were brought to resettle some of the northern kingdom of Israel after its fall to Assyria. The Lord began to send lions among them, and the people realized that it was because they were living in the land of Israel's God without knowing how to worship Him. A priest was brought to teach them the rituals of worshipping the God of the land, so they began to do so...yet they continued worshipping their own gods, as well. They were attempting to serve both ways. They were a portrait of a lukewarm lifestyle.
Are we sometimes guilty of the same thing? Do we worship God enough to survive, yet we simultaneously choose our own ways - our own "gods"? We must do both, because we can't have both. It is imperative to seek the Lord's face AND turn from our ways, because it is sickening to dare to seek Him AND hold tightly to our idols.
I choose to draw near to the Lord, consistently separating and putting more and more distance between myself and my own wicked ways. I encourage you to do so, as well. Let us awaken from lukewarm living, as the fence that is straddled becomes the fence that separates us from His Presence.
Father, Your Word says to choose this day whom I will serve. Lord, I choose You. I don't want to halfway serve You while trying to drag my own ways into the mix. I am all Yours. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14
2 Kings 17:24-41