No matter where you go, there you are!

Monday Musings for August 26, 2019

Good morning, Musers,

We choose our misery… or… much of it, anyway. You see, God gave us these lives — and he wants us to prosper! But he has made it clear through the way he made the earth that prosperity is linked to diligence. Even under innocence, Adam had to work. He tended God’s garden and named all the earth’s creatures before the fall… and all that took time and effort.

It should come as no surprise then that after the fall, humankind became less cooperative with the systems that God put in place for us… and the nation Israel was the poster-child for that. After the glories of conquering Canaan — and in spite of God’s direct warnings — they slipped into idolatry… and God’s people began losing their cohesive identity.

Now, God reminded them of who they were (or who he was) with the occasional victory under a judge, but they were a national non-entity under the judges compared to when they crossed the Jordan or compared to their future under David.

But please note that their circumstances did not change for the worse suddenly. They changed gradually as the individuals intermarried and integrated into the pagan culture. So here’s the thing: we don’t make the world clean when we mix with it. Instead, it soils us. Yes, we shine light upon it, but light is about knowledge… and knowledge is only the first step in cleanliness.

Take the Jews for instance. They had plenty of light. Yet they had fallen so far from “knowing” the One True God that they began worshipping idols — just as their pagan neighbors did! … and just as their pagan ancestors did. So, light itself is not the answer.

But when trouble came to them, then they remembered God… and then they cried out to him — and God was good with that! But he reminded them that they got to where they were by making choices… and when they cried out to the gods they had chosen, they got no answer.

You see, it’s easier to travel downhill. But God wants us climbing. He wants us to engage in the kingdom’s work while not worshipping the world that “contains” his kingdom… and while not indulging the flesh that is with us every moment… and while battling Satan — the powerful foe who is constantly at us.

These burdens belong to every believer. So every believer — whether or not they want to — performs a daily balancing act… and the more little corrections we make along the way, the better we will be at living the lives God wants us to live.

Restoral is good!  But not needing restoral is better. Let’s shoot for that.

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