Saturday, June 04, 2011

Recovery Devotional 365 Miserable Conformity

JMD Devotional 365 Amos 2:11-16 Miserable Conformity

And I raised up some of your sons for prophets and some of your young men for dedicated ones [Nazirites]. Is this not true, O you children of Israel? says the Lord. But you gave the dedicated ones [the Nazirites] wine to drink and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.
Behold, I am pressed under you and I will press you down in your place as a cart presses that is full of sheaves. And flight shall be lost to the swift and refuge shall fail him; the strong shall not retain and confirm his strength, neither shall the mighty deliver himself. Neither shall he stand who handles the bow, and he who is swift of foot shall not deliver himself; neither shall he who rides the horse deliver his life. And he who is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked on that day, says the Lord.

What would possess a society that claims to be “God’s people” to give wine to Nazirites and to command prophets to “Prophesy not?” To the lost and backslidden, not only is the holiness of God offensive, but His holiness manifested in dedicated believers is repugnant as well. The movement of God is clearly superseded by people’s love of the status quo. People resist the spontaneity of God’s work in favor of the miserable security of programs, predictability and human control. I have been in churches that spiritually starved their congregations with substandard Sunday School literature because the pastor’s pension was tied to the denominational printing house that had lost its inspiration. Non-denominational publishers were putting out rich, stimulating and challenging material; but it would have been heresy to use anything other than “Snooze Press.” On a personal level, I have always been told that I am “too much”, “over-driven”, a “potential heretic” and much pressure has always been applied to suppress drives that I believe that God inspires. I am somewhat obsessive; but what if God wired me that way for His purpose? Making people comfortable by throwing water on my fire would be just like giving wine to a Nazirite.

Dear God,
I want to follow You and not man. No doubt all people should submit to the authority of the Church and to our Christian and civil leaders in so far as it does not violate scripture. Without accountability I would fall. However, almost every time You began a new work, resistance opposed Your representative man or woman, even sometimes from the Church: how do we know when it is godly to be stubborn and cling to our calling over our peer’s opposition? How do we avoid deadly pride and self-righteousness? I am no authority to myself. Keep me in the middle, faithful to Your Holy Spirit’s leading, true to my unique self regenerated in Christ, supportive of Your larger work in the world through Your Church. And as much as it lies in me, may I be at peace with all people without compromising Your call upon my life.

All (but*) quotes are from The Amplified Bible, published by
the Lockman Foundation. (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
*New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
**Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (Eugene Peterson's easy-to-read, contemporary Scripture translation)

I originally produced these blogs between 2006 and 2007, which were then published in my book, JMD Recovery Devotionals. In 2010, I am sending these out to a few people as I review them and see if my point of view has changed.

If you know of someone who would like to subscribe to my daily devotional, please forward.
Short, concise, thought-provoking.

More features:

Christian, devotional, recovery, addiction, purity, faithfulness, integrity

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