“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~Joshua 24:15
The theme of the Bible is consistent from cover to cover. It’s the story of God’s love for us, and our unfaithfulness to Him—His forgiveness, and our willingness to turn back to our old, sinful ways.
So, what is the solution to this reoccurring conundrum? How can we know we are praying to the real God, or, for that matter, how this God wants us to worship Him? Then, how can we stay fixed on His ways and stop buying into all the manmade deceptions?
The word of God is the only way to know what is true, and reading it is how to stay connected to these truths. We must ask His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into the truth of His word. Just reading it isn’t enough, we must practice it every single day. We must learn to be obedient to our Creator. That’s not to say we’ll never fall ever again or never make another mistake. We simply have to choose to use our free will to do His will. We have to start to do as He instructs us and learn to keep His laws and Commandments. We have to turn away from our old ways, the ways we were taught by our fathers and forefathers.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” ~John 14:15-21
Most of us were taught by example. Our families worshipped in a certain way on a certain day. They always celebrated a bunch of holidays, doing certain things on certain days in order to continue the traditions passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, most of these traditions aren’t even remotely close to what God tells us in His infallible How-To book.
Man, being led astray by Satan, has replaced the rules and instructions of God’s word with what we have been taught rather than simply taking God at His word. We have decided to follow man’s traditions rather than God’s word regarding not only holidays but the days and the ways we worship as well.
Most of us have been taught wrong. So, in that sense, it really isn’t our fault. Nevertheless, we must at some point take responsibility to try to learn the error of our ways. We must become willing to open God’s instruction manual and learn the truth. All we have to do is get serious about putting away the false teachings of our fathers and mothers; and make a decision to follow the Lord rather than man, accepting the perfect laws and commandments of God rather than the traditions of misguided men.
Jesus is crystal clear that He came to earth to give us a do-over—an opportunity to have a clean slate to choose to live our lives His way instead. He actually refers to Himself as “The Way.”
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.“ ~John 14:6
So, how did our forefathers get so misguided? Their fathers went astray at some point, deviating from what they were taught by their fathers. They went to foreign lands and learned their evil ways. They chose to be led astray by the customs and rituals of foreigners, and in so doing wound up worshipping strange gods.
“And they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.”
~1 Chronicles 5:25
Little by little these strange ways were incorporated into their religion and became the way of the land. It took many generations for the people to become entranced with these false teachings. And now, unbeknownst to us it’s become a way of life for nearly all Christians.
We don’t even know that we’re following foreign gods. We have been lied to for so many generations that we have no clue what the truth really is anymore.
We must get back to the pure word of God—the unadulterated truth of His words of guidance and instruction if we truly want to worship the Living God. Once we reach out to God in prayer He will show us the truth of His word, and then we can repent of our old misguided ways.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
~2 Chronicles 7:14
It’s taken me many years to do this turnaround. I was so entrenched with man’s tradition I had no clue it was all wrong. Not until I decided to simply turn to Jesus and ask for help was I finally rescued from the error of my ways. It’s been a long journey to get back to where God wants me. I had to relinquish many false teachings of following false idols, and then learn God's truths. I had to become willing to let go of my old ways and embrace His ways.
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good. Now therefore, he said, put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.” ~Joshua 24:14, 20, 23
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