We’ve all heard it before. If you are a Christian, you shouldn’t be doing “bad” things or things that God doesn’t want you doing. That is true, but have we looked at why we shouldn’t? It isn’t because we can earn God’s favor by “following the rules”. No, it is far from that. I mean it is pretty clearly stated in Romans 11:6 that we are saved by grace, not works.
“Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.” -Romans 11:6
Galatians 5:4 even says that we are alienated from Christ if we try to be justified by the law.
“You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.” -Galatians 5:4
No, it is because of grace at work in us that we keep away from sinful, worldly things and pursue Christ more.
But lets look at this also from a story in the old testament in 1 Kings 11. Let us see another reason why God doesn’t want us doing certain things.
“King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations that the Lord had told the Israelites about, ‘Do not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you because they will turn you away from Me to their gods.’” -1 Kings 11:1-2a
Let’s stop right there and analyze this.
We see two things here:
1.) Solomon loved A LOT of women from other nations. Ok, so he loved some women.. what is the big deal?
2.) God warned the Israelites (AKA Solomon’s kingdom) not to intermarry with people from these particular nations.
PROBLEM…. let’s keep reading to find out exactly what the problem is, assuming you haven’t already figured it out.
“Solomon was deeply attached to these women and loved them. He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines, and they turned his heart away from the Lord.
When Solomon was old, his wives seduced him to follow other gods. His heart was not completely with the Lord his God, as his father David’s heart had been.” -1 Kings 11:2b-4
It goes on in verse 5 to tell the name of the gods that Solomon started following, and in verse 6 it says what he was doing was “evil in the Lord’s sight,”.
There is the problem. Did you catch it? It was pretty obvious. God warned Solomon not to pursue these women, but he pursued them and married them anyway. Way to brush away a warning from the all knowing God that knew what would happen if you married them and even told you what would happen. Don’t we tend to do that, though? We desire something, but God tells us not to pursue it. We then brush aside what God says and pursue it anyway.
Solomon did what God told him not to do and in result he started worshipping other God’s and “was not completely with the Lord his God” (vs.4). In other words his focus shifted from giving all his time, attention, and worship to God, and he started to share that time with false Gods. Those women did exactly to Solomon what God said they would.
The God we serve is a self centered God that wants all of our attention on Him, all of the time. He deserves it after all. He created us, and he sustains us, just like He sustained Israel at the time. He was the reason it was such a mighty and prosperous kingdom. In the same way, He is the reason we are still alive. Without Him, the universe would be thrown into utter chaos. (Even though it may seem it is already like that, trust me, it could be worse.)
So many times we desire fleshly things which can lead to a deadly chain of events and lead us astray from where God desires for us to be, which is close to Him. We still go down that path, and a lot of times we end up worshipping other false gods or idols instead of giving our full worship to the only true God.
Sure, these things seem harmful at first, but there is no way we can see where they will lead us. God knows, though, and He doesn’t want us to go down that path.
We end up seeing what God said he would do to the kingdom in return to Solomon’s disobedience in verses 11-13.
“Then the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. However, I will not do it during your lifetime because of your father David; I will tear it out of your son’s hand. Yet, I will give one tribe to your son because of my servant David and because of Jerusalem that I chose.” -1 Kings 11:11-13
You see, you can’t gain the full benefits of being close to God unless you actually stay close to Him. Sounds relatively simple, right? Because of Solomon’s disobedience, the kingdom would one day suffer. It would be divided and in rebellion against it’s king.
So let me ask you this today. What is that one thing that you know God doesn’t want you to pursue? Will you listen to Him and stay away from it? He has His reasons for telling you no. He wants all of you and doesn’t want to lend you to false gods that can give you nothing in return. Think about it. Do something about it.
You might say, “I have already gone down that path, and there is no way He will take me back.” Nonsense. Luke 15:11-32 tells us a story of a son who ran off with his share of the fortune and spent it all. He ended up in the most undesirable circumstances. He too didn’t think his father would let him come back. But the father loved him deeply and accepted him with open arms and celebration. God will take you back. He loves you deeply and wants the best for you. After all, that is why He tells us not to pursue those things, because He doesn’t want us to experience what lies down that path. He will take you back.
So, evaluate your life. Stay close to God. Heed his warnings. And if you are already astray, return to Him. He loves you.