2009 – Day 179.June 29 – Straight Talk
Passage of the Day: 2nd Kings 1 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Chuck Swindoll ends his devotional entry for this day in his book, Great Days with the Great Lives, with a stark exhortation which comes from a relook today into 2nd Kings 1. He writes, "Learn a lasting lesson from Elijah. As you stand strong for the truth (of God), watch out for the enemy. He not only plays dirty; he plays for keeps. And he’s playing for your soul.” And to that end I’d warn the born-again believer that Satan will lure the heaven-bound Christian into all forms of “playful” occultism to dilute or damage our testimony/witness and thereby weakening our ministry for God’s kingdom.
Swindoll is right on target that we western Christians have a cultural fascination with any study or practice which might give us a one-up on the future. So, potentially damaging practice like astrology, horoscopes, palm-reading, or the like, have become very popular. New-ageism and concepts like scientology have crept onto the scene; and Satan makes them seem so hyper-intellectual and powerful to help self be in control of self, taking the eyes of the lost off of the Savior. Christians even fall prey to playing with horoscopes or even relying on scientific devices to read minds or to rely on futurists, who claim to have intellectual gifts to see into the future. All of this may seem either very logical or maybe just playful. But my dear reader, any or all of it is anything but playful. It is dangerous! And at the time that the author or authors of 1st or 2nd Kings (once only one book of the Hebrew Bible), told the truth story about Elijah, as well as about God’s prophets, who were confronting a lot of occult thinking. And 2nd Kings 1 is such an account.
And note how Elijah tackled the occult proponents of the god of Ekron, worshippers of Baal-Zebub, which, by the way, was not the god Baal. Elijah went back to his total reliance upon the God of gods, the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords, … his God … THE God, Jehovah; and he called down the fire of God with his faith to wipe out any or all who partook of these false gods.
As Swindoll writes, “God is displeased with any occult involvement. … God is dishonored by any specific pursuit of the future that does not find its source in His word.” And on the positive side of things, and most importantly, Pastor Chuck points out, "God is delighted when we trust Him only.”
Today popular cultural gurus like Oprah Winfrey or even so-called “Christian” televangelists like Joel Osteen, are trying to get Christians to see that our faith should be in self or merely in faith itself. So, we see Christians duped to think that they can control their future by simply seeing power in their own thoughts or in the words they use. So, these name-it-and-claim-it prophets try to get the world to see the future through the eyes of self, rather than through the truth proclaimed by the Savior through God’s word.
Don’t be duped, my dear one! Stand with Elijah and with our Lord and Savior, Jesus, for the truth. Call down the fire of power from God’s word, not from any stupidity like astrology or any pseudo-scientific ungodliness like scientology. God’s word is the only truth; and only through the Spirit-led power of God’s grace, relying totally on our Savior, can we move into the future with confidence that God is in control.
My Prayer for Today: My Father, keep my eyes on the Son, and keep my head clear of self to follow my Savior. Amen