Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013 … Beware of Bad Alliances

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 211

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … Today please use this link and hear a song sung by the Kathy Troccoli, singing “I Will Choose Christ”, reminding at least this Christian to do all I can to insure that my choices are in following Savior rather than self.

Highlight Passage of the Day: Isaiah 30: 1-3 [With whom do we choose to partner or establish alliances?] … [NLT] …  
1 “Destruction is certain for my rebellious children,” says the LORD. “You make plans that are contrary to my will. You weave a web of plans that are not from my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. 2 For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt to find help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh for his protection. 3 But in trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated and disgraced. 4 For though his power extends to Zoan and Hanes, 5it will all turn out to your shame. He will not help you even one little bit.” 
Contextual Study involving today’s passage found in Isaiah, Chapter 30 Go to this link … 

Reference Passage of the Day #1: Luke 9: 23 [When we ally with someone, are we following Jesus in the partnership?] … [NKJV] …  
23 If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 

Reference Passage of the Day #2: Proverbs 3: 5-6 [We won’t go wrong if our relationships and partnerships are choices following God’s Spirit.] … [NLT] …  
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Reference Passage of the Day #3: 2nd Corinthians 6: 14-15 [Always striving to be in the Spirit rather than letting self get ahead of the Savior. ] … [NLT] …  
14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?

My Journal for Today: Same song from yesterday’s journaling and many of the same Bible passages cited as well; but the life topic of Os Hillman’s devotional today was the relationships and partnerships which we go with in our life, … choices which guide us toward or away from God’s purposes in life.

When you were growing up, did your parents want to know the kids with whom you “ran with” in your formative years? … Mine did. … And as I grew into my teen years, I thought they were medaling a bit when I established new alliances with certain groups of new “friends.” But my parents knew the old adage that … “we become like the people with whom we associate.”

God wanted the best for His chosen people, the Israelites; and so quite often, through His Prophets, the Lord would send His word, like He did through Isaiah in today’s highlight passage in Isaiah 30: 1-3. In this case His people under King Hezekiah in Judah were trying to protect themselves against a threatening King Sennacherib of Assyria; and so, without even consulting or following God’s will, King Hezekiah established an alliance with Egypt. … BAD CHOICE!!! … It was not the alliance God would sanction; and as we know from history, not consulting God would always lead His people to very bad outcomes.

And as we move into the New Testament, Jesus and His Disciples, would continually be trying to keep God’s people on track by teaching them to seek God’s will when they had choices to make or relationships to establish. How many times, in my devotionals do I end up quoting Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Luke 9: 23 where God, through Solomon and Christ Himself, steers believers away from our selfish choices, trying to get us to choose God’s path in life and not our own?

 And when those paths involve relationships or alliances in any part of life (perhaps in a marriage), do we choose to follow the heart of God or do we want to do what is comfortable or seemingly safe? How often are we driven to set an alliance or partnership in motion because of fear of loss or the selfish desire for gain; and how many times do we establish such alliances without ever seeking God’s direction or guidance? That’s why the Apostle Paul advised the Christians in Corinth (and us by extension) not to set up partnerships or alliances which unequally yoke us with unbelievers (see 2nd Cor. 6: 14-15 copied above).

And you may know that this last passage is often use by Christian Pastors in pre-marital counseling, when the counselor perceives that one in the marriage is a Christian and the potential spouse is not. But that passage would also apply to any Christian going into a permanent business relationship with a non-believer as well. God wants us to be in accord with HIS will in ALL parts of life; and entering into important alliances or partnerships are some of the most important choices we’ll make.

So, when we are confronted with making relational choices or establishing important partnerships in life, can we strongly and confidently say what Kathy Trocolli sings in today’s highlight song, … that ”I Will Follow Christ!” Well, I leave it to you to answer that one for yourself. Because ignoring that wisdom, or even more so the wisdom of the Scriptures above, could prove disastrous in our lives, couldn’t it?

My Prayer for Today … Yes, Lord, again I declare that I will follow You in all the relationships which I pursue; and may those choices be for Your glory. … Amen

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