“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Judges 21:25

Chaos and confusion always accompany lawlessness and rebellion.

“I Did It My Way.”

Such was the title of a song years ago; yet, in reality, it is the theme song of every generation that refuses to surrender to the Lordship of Christ.  And, in so doing, it mistakes liberty for licentiousness and champions “free will” over being “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).

In reality, the theme of today’s Manna runs throughout the book of Judges—even among some of the judges themselves (e.g., Samson—Judg. 13:24-16:30).  Even in Gideon’s life, toward the end we find him “making an ephod thereof and putting it in his city, even in Ophrah—and all the city went there a whoring after it, which thing became a snare unto Gideon and to his house” (Judg. 8:27).  And, we should not be surprised that after his death “the children of Israel went a whoring after Baalim and made Baalberith their god” (v.33).

Why did this happen?

Simply because they “remembered not the Lord their God, Who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side” (v.34).  And, also because “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Dear Pilgrim, in reality, we’re all slaves to something or someone.  Even if we place “Self” on our heart’s throne, we’re still slaves to our “lusts of the flesh, eyes and pride of life” (I Jn. 2:16).  And, again, the end-result is always division, discord and destruction (I Cor. 3:1-4).

It’s only when we remember Who God is and who we are that we keep everything in proper perspective and balance (I Cor. 3:5-9).

And, it’s only when we “deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Christ” (Lk. 9:23) that we disdain “doing that which is right in our own sight.”  Instead, we long to do that which is right in God’s sight.  Period.

Always remember:

The flesh is fickle, but the “old man” is strong.  He will not die without a battle—and even then this “being crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) takes a lifetime.

But, that’s okay.  The One Who “looks on the heart” (I Sam. 16:7) is also the One Who “searches the heart and mind” (Ps. 139:23-24) and knows what we need. . .why we do what we do. . .and will transform us from the inside out WHEN we’re yielded to Him (Rom. 12:1-2).

Who’s #1 in your life, Pilgrim?  In your family?  In your church?  In your business?  Is your “Magnificent Obsession” in life “delighting to do God’s Will” (Ps. 40:8)?  If so, give thanks; if not, do not rest until it is.  Only then will you experience “the Peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:6-7).  And, only then will you hear Him say “Well done, you good and faithful servant” (Mt. 25:21, 23).

May 12, 2011