Scripture Read: Judges 2:16-19 Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as their fathers. When the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and afflicted them. But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.
Application: Here is where we see what happens to individuals when they fail to center their life in a relationship with their Maker. Instead, they opt to keep God in their life but only at a distance. What happens is what I call the "pendulum effect"! Their life swings from extreme to extreme. It's like living your life on a roller coaster. Your "highs" are higher and your " lows" are lower.
Here the nation of Israel, only because of the mercy of God, is supplied with leaders (Judges) that are given supernatural abilities to deliver the people from their enemies, but instead of pitching a tent and remaining there, they return to their idolatry and are conquered and enslaved again! The proper place for a child of God is always one of balance. Where God is at the center of our life and everything else is kept in order by Him. Balance has always been the problem, even in the church. Just consider the first century church. Paul had to chastise both the church at Galatia, for legalism and sanctification through works, and the church at Corinth for carnality. Throughout the church age balance has continued to be a problem. We moved from the Puritan church, all the way to the health, wealth and prosperity church!
So what are we to do? I believe the answer is another kind of balancing act. We are not to forsake the Body of Christ; fellowshipping in community is essential for all believers. However, when it comes to where Christ is in your life, only YOU can control that, you cannot follow the movement, what’s popular or even follow the leader…blindly! Godly leadership is a blessing and when it is moving in God’s direction we should follow, but that never means we do not continue to examine what is taught or said in light of scripture. Our example is set for us in:
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
If these folks examined what Paul said, we had better be good stewards and evaluate everyone based on what scripture states, not on what some new book claims or what is the newest doctrinal flavor of the month. Father, let our guide be Your Word!
Meditation Questions: Whenever you hear something that sounds “new” or “deeper” what do you do with that information? What happens when you hear a teacher state something as fact, yet there is no scriptural support for it? What does your answer show you? When we say that Scripture is the final authority, what do we mean? Do you believe that truth can come from only scripture? What is the difference in being the “source” of truth versus the “validation” of truth?