It’s easy to get sucked into the culture around you. Having grown up in rural Oklahoma, I struggle with loving deeply a culture and mindset with which I don’t always agree, and one reason I had to leave there is because when I am there I don’t always act like I want to act. Ok, I don’t always act like I want to act wherever I am, but at “home,” it just seems a little easier to go astray more often. I imagine the Israelites who started hanging out with the Moabites felt kind of the same. Sounds like these people had beautiful women, fun get-togethers and good food. What’s not to like about an inviting people group like that? Well, it’s one thing to have dinner with and try to learn more about your neighbors’ culture and beliefs, but it’s another to start joining in the rituals and festivals, particularly because some of these people had married into Midianite families, and wouldn’t you expect your son-in-law to take part in the family festivals? We’ve ministered with a lot of Christians who come from Buddhist families about this very debacle. How do they love Jesus completely while not cutting off their families during Buddhist celebrations that are all about family and love and celebration? It’s a tough one, and each has handled it in their own personal ways as led by the Spirit. That didn’t mean it wasn’t still a struggle, but it does mean that they know God is always on their side as long as He is in their hearts. I think a few Israelites forgot that hearts part, and sadly, they paid the price of rejecting God so brazenly.
Writing prompt: denial
Have you ever denied God? Ouch. That’s a tough one, isn’t it, because we can do it in little ways even easier than we can sometimes do it in big ways. Like, when someone asks you if you’re a Christian, how do you respond? I have been guilty, when asked by co-workers and people who I know are not Christian, to be a little meek in my answer. Of course, I always answer, yes, I am a Christian, but I sometimes do it a little too reserved, as to avoid any possible conflict, and rarely do I ever go on to tell them why. I have walked away from conversations like this feeling extremely dirty, guilty and unworthy of God’s love. How about you? Write about any experience you might have had with denying God.