Break the Cycle
Daily Devotional for August 22nd
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: Judges 2:10-11
Does your spiritual life consist continually of ups and downs? Have you noticed times of great closeness to God, while at other times it’s as if we are as far away from Him spiritually as you can be? It’s like we’re on a never-ending rollercoaster. Why do we seem to go round and round in our Christian life? If you think back, it is times of testing and trial where the change usually takes place.
Israel dwelled in the wilderness for about 40 years. Their stent in the Sinai desert was due to their failure to make the right decision about God. Their commitment was contingent upon their circumstances. Even after they dwelt in the Promised Land, they continued down this cycle of turning to God, turning away from God. This has always been man’s greatest scourge. It is in temptation when we make a decision to either draw nearer to the Lord, or make a choice of disobedience. Temptation, though only for a temporary period, seems to draw our hearts away. Satan has no new tricks. However the schemes he does have is enough to draw man continually away from God. Even as Christians, we are at times so prone to be led off even though we either know better or know it’s wrong. Why do we do this? It is always after the fall into temptation that we regret the decision we made.
Do we not know that temptation will come? Do we not also know that the decision we make about God during our time of temptation will altar our direction? You must realize that the decision you make about God is much more than a bad choice, it’s about choosing whether or not to serve and live for God. Did God have a purpose for Israel’s forty years in the wilderness? Deuteronomy 8 reveals that it was for the purpose of revealing to themselves what was in their heart; whether they would serve God or no. God already knew as He knows us. Friend, your trials are not to shake you, but to reveal to you what is already in your heart. Troubles only bring out that which is deeply seated. Trials have a way of either bolstering our resolve to serve God or causing us to take a step backward.
Are you destined for another trip around the desert? Will we continue to go from closeness to the Lord and then turn away in hard times? We will not advance in spiritual growth until we learn the lesson and pass the test. Don’t you think it’s time to break the cycle? The cycle of continual ups and downs where you are at a spiritual high one moment and ready to walk away the next. We must come to a place where, in our hearts, we resolve that nothing is going to drive us away from God. James said blessed is the man that endureth temptation. We do not have to fall to every trap Satan throws in our path. We can choose to love God and walk in His ways even when it seems difficult. Temptation is only for a short period. Enduring times of temptation will prove your love and commitment to God. Choose to love the Lord and stay committed to Him through the hard times. He will reward you for it.