One of the things I have noticed about my life now that I have been a Christian for about 40 years is how easy it is to have my heart drift from simple allegiance and obedience to God! It is something that I have to be sensitive to and be disciplined to stay in the Word and focused prayer.
This morning I was struck by this issue in the life of Solomon. We know of God’s incredible blessings in his life, including wisdom, power, industry and worldwide fame. In spite of these amazing blessings in his life, he made the tragic mistake of letting his heart drift from his allegiance to God. This gradual process led to a lifestyle of sin which resulted in God’s judgment. This story is found in 1 Kin. 10 and 11. What was the sin he repeated that led his heart astray? He chose to marry 700 women, and the text says that they led him away from God in idolatry.
Marrying that many women must have taken years, so this was a gradual decline that ended in the pursuit of other gods. I found 1 Kin. 11:11 to be very insightful and encouraging even though it must have been very heard for Solomon to hear. This verse says,
“Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, ‘Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant.’”
The wording that I found so encouraging is “Since this has been your practice.” This judgment from God was not for one act of defiance but a practice of sin over many of years.
God’s patience with Solomon eventually wore out, and he paid the price for his disobedience. But what we can be encouraged with is the example of God’s patience in our lives. We all sin, and sometimes that sin may have immediate consequences from God. Other times, He is slow to respond, and is extremely patient, waiting for us to repent.
Let us be disciples who keep our heart focused on God and not allow our hearts to drift in our absolute allegiance to him. And let us be thankful for all that God has given us and not take it for granted like Solomon.
Father, thank you for being so patient with my failings as I pursue you. May you keep my heart hungry for you and may my life display this passionate pursuit by keeping you the #1 allegiance of my heart.
Following Jesus with you,