21 October, 2010

The Danger of a Divided Heart

I've been doing some reading in Genesis again recently and going through the life of Abraham. I was reading about Abraham and his nephew Lot, and began to realize that to the casual reader, it might appear that both Abraham and lot were spiritual men. But if we take a closer look, we see that this story reveals that this was not the case at all.  We all know, Abraham lived for God... but Lot, on the other hand, lived for himself. Abraham walked in the Spirit while Lot walked in the flesh. Abraham lived by faith... Lot lived by sight. And most significantly, Abraham walked with God... while Lot walked with Abraham. We see in this story parallels with people that make up the church today. Some are fully following God, while others are following a pastor, or a church or denomination. They have a half hearted commitment.

Unfortunately, because of Lot's half-hearted commitment to the Lord, he was becoming a spiritual drain on Abraham...  The relationship they had was pulling Abraham down. a similar parralel that we see in the church today.  God had earlier told Abraham, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1). But Abraham was not willing to leave all of his family... not willing to leave his nephew Lot... and it cost him. Later when a famine came, Abraham actually went down to Egypt. It was a definite step backward. Remember that Egypt is always symbolic of "the world" and sinful ways. Abraham eventually came to his senses and realized he was in a backslidden state. He decided to return to the place where God had called him. But that wrong choice of going to Egypt haunted Abraham. In time to come, he reaped the results of that wrong choice. You see, it was in Egypt that a woman named Hagar became Sarah's servant. Abraham ended up having a child with Hagar. The child's name was Ishmael, and conflicts between his descendents and the descendents of Isaac continue to this very day.

The choices we make are seeds for tomorrow’s harvest. Wrong choices don't just affect us today... they have a lasting impact. We often choose to allow ungodly influences in our life, and they often wear us down. It may be an unadvised personal relationship, it may be something we are pursuing in our life, and these things can become a spiritual drain in our life. We need to all examine our lives and ask ourselves if we have been making compromises and choices that are weighing us down or veering us off course. We cannot be fully committed to Christ if we are allowing ungodly people or pursuits to pull us and steer us in a direction that is not where God would have us to be.

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