Summary: How loyal are you to the Lord?
As we study the book of 2 Chronicles and the lives of the kings and people of Israel we see that God always responded in the same way towards Idolatry and the turning of our backs to Him.
Chapter 17:3 tells us that Jehoshaphat did not seek the Baals and because of that God prospered him.
Many of us seek the prosperity, the "blessings" and we come week after week to the altar to have someone pray for us to "receive" those blessings. While we know that God desires to bless us, how many of us are willing to stop seeking the "Baals" in our lives? You see, God will not violate His principles.
Many say that they have no Baals in their lives. But let’s look at the definition of Baal. The dictionary tells us that a Baal is a false god, an idol.
An idol is described as an image OR other object worshipped as a god; a false god; a person OR thing worshipped or loved very much; object of extreme devotion.
devotion is defined: a deep, steady affection; loyalty; faithfulness.
Having looked at the definition helps us see how we could possibly have Baals in our lives. Perhaps your job, your house, your car, your career, your business, your opinions, your social life, etc.
If we study 2 Chronicles (there are many more scriptures to study but for now we will focus on these)
we will see that the things which were dedicated and holy unto God were taken out of the house of the Lord and given over to idols. God’s response was always the same, God’s wrath came upon them and He could not prosper them (2 Chron 24:20; 26:5)
Many times we commit to God our time to serve in the church and then we turn right around and take that time and use it for something else (usually for our own personal gratification or pleasure or building of our "castles")
Other times we take our tithe which is holy unto God and dedicated onto Him and we use it to buy "things" or "invest" in our own kingdoms.
Other times we take the very calling we say we have received from God and the talents that come with it and put it on hold to pursue other things.
Just like in chapter 24 verse 7, we take those things dedicated to God "out of the house of the Lord" and use it for the Baals in our lives.
Then what we have is the house of the Lord lacking, finances, workers, talents or ministries while our own personal homes are luxurious, our businesses flourishing and our bank accounts growing. But is that being loyal to God?
Has God called you to use your talents, finances, time in His house? Have you then ignored that and taken it upon yourself to do things which do not allow you to commit those things to Him? If so, ask yourself, is that the kind of prosperity I want?
God definitely wants us to enjoy our homes, our jobs, our business, and all those things but it must be done according to His will and without violating His principles.
You see, the scriptures are very clear. God will NOT prosper us while our priorities are not in line with His Word and His will. If you gain any type of prosperity, know that it will be temporary and will not add joy to your life. Only the properity that God gives adds joy to our lives and is lasting. Many people prosper in "our eyes" without any committment to God but their lives are not fulfilling and they know that they are not right with God.
As Charles Stanley stated it this week in a message " The devil has a way of making things look real pretty and real attractive. He shows us a way that "seems" the right way and then we take that detour and we miss God’s best for us.
How true that is... We must make sure that if we have committed anything onto God, we must not turn around and do things that will take us away from that committment.
We must remember what God has done in our lives... and never forget how He has blessed us.
How often do we see God restore relationships, strengthen people through tragedies, prosper them financially, and just when they need to be more grateful to God and serve Him more firmly is when they move away from Him.
We may read about the people of Israel and how they repeatedly were ungrateful to God and continuously turned their backs on God but don’t we too behave the same way?
Ask yourself today... is your heart whole/loyal to God? Or are you seeking the Baals. If you are seeking the Baals do not expect God’s prosperity in your lives. However, when you chose not to compromise no matter how pretty the picture is painted, no matter how much money you are offered... I know that God will be pleased and prosper you His way.