Monday, February 27, 2017

Why Do We Fluctuate in our Devotion To God?

Reading about the Israelites in the book of Judges, you may wonder how they could be so stubborn. You may even think that you're not like them - once you've committed to something or someone you never waver in your commitment, you're never tempted, and you never doubt.

In my last post, I mentioned how God sent judges to deliver the people of Israel; but why did they need deliverance?

Their leader died (Judges 2:6-9). Joshua died at 110 years old but he was influential in ensuring that the people followed the Lord's commandments. When Joshua and those of that generation died, the upcoming generation did not know the Lord and all of his works. Because of this lack of knowledge they chose to worship other gods. This worshipping of other gods instead of the one true God makes God seem petty, but He's not. When you make other things an idol - they become very important to you. Idols will now have a high priority in your life; the idol determines how you live and who you associate with. In Israel's time, false gods like Baal and Ashtoreth - couldn't save lives, couldn't deliver you from oppression, couldn't help you cross a Red sea, couldn't rain plagues from heaven. Instead, these idols created a false hope and filled lives with rituals that had no meaning. But God was and is different - everything He instituted had meaning and purpose and was not an empty ritual. God knew what He was talking about. Today we make idols out of different things - fame, athletic prowess, smarts, money. If we give these things more precedence than God who made us, they are an idol and they will have the same detrimental effect as worshipping false gods in Israel's time.

There was a gap in knowledge (Judges 2:10). As much as it is up to you, your legacy matters. Perhaps because they had not experienced God's goodness directly, the younger generation made a choice to test God. Perhaps they did not really understand what it meant to serve God. Sometimes in spite of passing down what God has done, the next generation chooses to go astray. Each individual has to make the choice to serve God.

God made all of us with free will (Judges 2:11-22). We get to choose. God said if you're always going to choose wrongly, you will suffer but I will still make a way out for you.

So why is it so hard to stay the course?
  • Sin is enticing. The worship of false gods was enticing to the Israelites; it was all around them. Proximity to sin also made it tempting.
  • Sin is influential - Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Sin makes us weak - We don't really have willpower unless we choose to subject our minds. Our wills are entirely powerless.
Perhaps you now see a little bit of yourself in the Israelites; I know I do. Don't look with disdain at the Israelites instead, see yourself in them. Yield to the promises of God's word and be willful about serving Him. Like the Israelites, you'll begin to recognize that He is there in spite of your messes. Out of the mess will come a message.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8

Even though you fluctuate, He remains faithful. 


  1. Every story written in The Bible was written for us as examples. So we do not have to make the mistakes some made and so we can learn to walk as some walked. Removing ourselves and pointing at the people in the story will do us no good.
    Thank God He remains faithful even when we fluctuate!
    Thanks for sharing this, do have a super blessed day!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nysle! I've been going through Judges with my kids and it is quite a book! I've been trying to show them that we're very similar to the Israelites and that first we may look away from sin, then we might tolerate it, then we embrace it and before long we fall into the deepest pit. It's a slow fade, but we can choose to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Jesus and He is faithful to draw us back to Himself. Blessings to you!

  3. Praise God He IS faithful! What an amazing post, thank you for writing it and sharing it. Your neighbor today, "Is It Monday, Yet?, over at "Tune in Thursday", God bless you!

  4. Nysle - OK, I can not even imagine living to 110 like Joshua, but I can so relate to the Israelite. Thank you God that You are different and that your ways are not our ways. I sometimes think, I wouldn't have done the stupid things the Israelites did, but then I find myself doing something just as sinful or crazy as them. I sure don't want to see a gap between me and the next generation in my circle of influence. I want to make sure they know all the amazing things God has done for me and will do for them. thanks for linking up to #TuneInThursday this week. I look forward to seeing you this next week too.


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