Watch out for the word, “except.”
I posted about the word “except” in 2021 HERE, as I processed a season of life when I deliberately decided not to walk with God. The Christian life hadn’t gone the way I wanted it to go and I felt like God had disappointed me. I can most assuredly tell you today that God had not disappointed me in any way, shape, or form. Rather, I had lacked the understanding and lens through which to view God and His Word at that time. I am so grateful to have processed that time and be on the other side. There will be more struggles to come, but I am happy to know God will use our difficulties to grow us, not harm us.
Solomon worshiped exceptions.
This week the same verse that launched the prior post leapt off the page yet again: Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship. (1 Kings 3:3) Solomon did not worship God wholeheartedly. There was room in his life to worship other gods, to ride the fence between God and gods. Solomon just kinda-sorta worshiped God.
Solomon married exceptions.
Eight chapters later we read, Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…The Lord had clearly instructed instructed the the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” (1 Kings 11:1a-2)
The first “except” Solomon accommodated in his life — to also sacrifice to other gods — led to a second “except” to marry women that worshiped those other gods. I will never understand why, but have watched it time and time again. When a believer in Christ marries a person who is not a believer, or who is a less committed believer, the Christ follower most often ends up falling away. The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. (1 Kings 11:9)
Do we have any exceptions?
I do have exceptions that I am prone to grab hold of if I am not careful, and I assume you have at least one as well. We need to pay attention to our propensities, or what happened to Solomon can happen to us. Here are my current excepts. Some have been a long-term struggle. I am comforted to know that struggling is different than practicing. God and I are addressing my excepts and they are a frequent source of confession and reflection. The fact that I can now list them is a victory. I can spot them! I can resist them. Thankfully, I can also confess them as sin (yes, sin) and be forgiven.
These are the “excepts” that can trip me up. Each of us has a list of our propensities. These are some of mine.
- prioritizing tasks over proper eating and exercise
- watching movies to escape
- skipping prayer to prepare a bible study when I can’t do both
- blogging about Jesus in “private” instead of talking about Him in public
- getting a task done when I am upset instead of processing my feelings with God first
The benefit of knowing our “excepts.”
I have laid to rest some other excepts in my past — re-contacting former love interests, “retail therapy,” and succumbing to the pressure of “showing off” my home. Long gone. As for today’s list, I have seen progressive victory in each of the items listed. I hope they go away, but they may not. Or, they may go away but something new will take their place. Our flesh will scream to do things our way for the rest of our lives. I am so thankful we have the power of the Holy Spirit to rely on instead of ourselves. I am absolutely in the battle with you to live wholeheartedly for Jesus while holding nothing back.
Let’s aim to eradicate exceptions!
Picture Explanation: Had a hard spring of 2023. Had a happy 4th.
Speaking of living wholeheartedly: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and contact me by email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!
Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.
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