Yet they will lean upon the Lord

Devotional Thoughts for the month of March 2020

(Click here to read Monday Musings ... where I discuss the thinking that led to this article.)

(Speaking of Israel in Micah’s day) Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the Lord and say, “Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” (Micah 3:11)

People want it both ways: they want to pursue all that God opposes — that is, they want to oppress, lie and gather up this world’s goods — and still claim God’s protection. This is a problem. A person who keeps one hand in iniquity and another on the altar has a congruency problem... and the Lord Jesus called such people hypocrites (Matthew 23:23).

Now, America — my “Christian” nation — has its share of hypocrites. Perhaps this is because we are world-class compartmentalizers. We like to keep our work-lives, family-lives and church-lives separate — and so much so that it’s like we are trying to avoid cross-contamination. But think about this for a minute: if we refuse to integrate God into every aspect of our lives, this is us compartmentalizing him — and good luck with that!

This idea of putting God in a box so we can live our lives without him watching over us — and then pulling him out occasionally so we may “lean” on him — shows that we see him as a talisman, not as the Lord. We’ve reduced the Creator of the universe to a good-luck charm... not much more than a rabbit’s foot or a statue of Buddha to touch on the way out of the house.

But the Lord God is not one to sit quietly with our other gods, waiting to receive his share of affection. This is because he doesn’t see himself as one among equal choices of belief systems. In fact, he advertises just the opposite. He says that he is the only God and that his is the only way to salvation (Deuteronomy 6:4; Acts 4:12).

The leaders, priests and prophets of Israel — people who held God-ordained positions — had begun taking bribes in Micah’s day. Yet these very people claimed that, since the Lord was among them, that no evil could befall them! So I must ask, what was God to such people? A cosmic bodyguard? This attitude is endemic in America’s Christian culture.

The problem is that people want a piece of God, not the whole of God. But God is a being that cannot be reduced. Besides, God does not want part of your life. He wants all of your life. So, if you are saved, give it over! If not, take a lesson: no God worth having will be satisfied with part of your life. Be prepared to yield it all to him on that day.

The true God is the Creator-God who loves and chastens his children (Hebrews 12:6). He is the one who provided redemption for sin through the sacrifice of his Son... so he is not someone who does things by half measures. Therefore, if you think of him as anything less than an omnipotent yet immanent being, you have reduced him to a wooden idol.

A person cannot “have” God in any meaningful way and keep him on the outside. He wants to be on the inside (John 1:12). Once you receive Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit moves in, then you can lean on God legitimately... and he will enter any area of your life that you invite him into.

(Mainsail Ministries articles often have a preamble where I discuss the thinking that went into them. These are called Monday Musings — and if you haven’t read the one associated with this article — consider doing so at the following link: 20200224 Yet they will lean upon the Lord).

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