The history of Israel's relationship with God is an example of our spiritual walk with Him. Whenever one of the kings of Israel or Judah set his heart to serve God, God would hear the people's prayers, restore them, and deliver them from their enemies.
But often the very next generation found themselves right back in idolatry. This cycle repeated itself again and again. Why? Because though there had been repentance, idols remained in the land:
The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
1 Kings 22:43 NIV
The man who was king during this time did not stray, but he also did not pave the way for others. With the high places intact, the spirit of idolatry never left. It remained among the people. Then came Hezekiah:
He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it.
2 Kings 18:4 NIV
Hezekiah was valiant for the Lord. He tore down the idols of the people, even the serpent Moses had originally fashioned in obedience to God. I'm sure Hezekiah was not necessarily popular with the people for his actions, but he was popular with God.
When we come to God, we choose Him over the things we once worshiped. Yet if we don't tear down the high places in our lives, we will like Israel find ourselves continuing to pay tribute to our idols.
You might question, "But I'm not a king. What can I do?" Heed this truth!
[Jesus] loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father...
Revelation 1:5–6 NIV
You possess not only a kingly anointing, but a priestly anointing as well. In Christ, you have been granted a view high above deception and darkness. Your eyes have been enlightened by the Truth—and He has set you free. You can refuse to give honor to idols any longer.
Are there high places in your life? It's time to tear them down! You are intended to shine as a beacon and speak the true words of God. So take some time right now to pray. Repent and name any idols you wish to renounce. Receive God's forgiveness, and ask Him for the grace to serve Him wholeheartedly!
Adapted from Lisa Bevere's book It's Not How You Look, It's What You See.