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On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. (Numbers 33:50-52)
It’s that time of year again. The weather is hot, children are out of school, and vacations are underway. For many people, this is the season for more time with family, time spent relaxing, and more overall fun. Yet at the same time that many people are taking a vacation, the devil is ramping up his efforts of trying to pull Christians away from the Lord. During a time when people are more relaxed, the old devil is more focused. So how do we remain faithful to Jesus this summer? How can we make sure these next few months aren’t wasted and we can be found faithful?
The verses above describe the land of Canaan as a land full of idols. As the children of Israel made their way into Canaan, they faced the city of Jericho. Jericho was a strong and a wealthy city. This was a city that even an experienced army would find hard to defeat, let alone a group of people who had been wandering the desert for years. But God gave the Israelites victory over the city. In the scripture text above, God commands the Israelites to destroy all the pagan gods of the city. He didn’t want anything left.
Why was God so focused on destroying all their carved images and cast idols? Because God realized just how weak the Israelites could be at times and the temptation that they would face of placing other gods before him, and so he told them to get rid of all the idols.
The Israelites struggled with something that we still struggle with today…idolatry. While their gods were carved images and cast idols, our gods come in the form of pride, materialism and even entertainment.
Think of this in terms of the summer months. Many people “take a break from God” and make vacation and rest their god. They travel and enjoy vacations but they forget to travel to God’s house and worship him each week. Trust me, there is nothing wrong with vacation, but God wants us to remain faithful to him even during vacation.
Too many times relaxation takes over our spiritual life right along with our physical life. A break from work doesn’t mean a break from being a Christian. You can be sure that the devil doesn’t take a break from attacking us, so we must always be on our guard against the attacks he sends our way…even at vacation time.
Have you placed God first in your life this summer, or have you been on a “break”? While there are times for a break from work, school, and the day to day things, there is never a break from being a Christian. The Christian life isn’t a routine you do or a job you complete; the Christian life is a life you live. It’s a journey and not a destination.
Even though you may be tempted to neglect your Bible reading or church attendance, make up your mind right now to keep God first in your life this summer. The next time you’re packing for a trip, make sure you pack your Bible and make sure you can find a good Bible believing church to attend on Sunday.
Brother Keith Miller is pastor of the English Christian Church in English, Ky.