[The Israelites] did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.
— Psalm 106:34-36
The Israelites were commanded to go into the enemy’s territory in order to possess the land and destroy all of the people. This was not only a sign of God’s wrath to those wicked nations, but also an order set in place to protect the sanctity of His people. Long story short – God’s people did not obey. They allowed the people to stay in the land and live amongst them. Consequently, the Israelites adopted their customs, worshiped their idols, and eventually suffered the wrath of God themselves. As the Church, God has given us a similar mandate to infiltrate the enemy’s territory (the World) and destroy the works of the devil. However, in many ways the American church has failed to do this. We have mingled with the idols of the world, adopted its customs, and the world likewise has become a snare to the church. Though we don’t sacrifice our children to worship golden statues, many of us sacrifice our own lives (our time, emotions and resources) to worship the idols of money, entertainment, materialism, and every other thing that the world finds joy and pleasure in.
Ask yourself how much different your church activities look than worldly activities. Is your idea of “good Christian fun” things that the world would likewise enjoy? Ask God to reveal to you areas in your life that you may have mingled your customs with the customs of the world. Smash those idols which may hinder you from fulfilling your God-given mandate to make disciples of the world, without being like the world.
Heavenly Father, search me and show me areas in my life where I may have adopted the customs of the world. Help me to separate myself from the customs of my culture so that I can fulfill my mandate given by you. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!