And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtoreth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only: and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines – 1st Samuel 7:3
Ashtoreth was the Canaanite fertility goddess. This Babylonian deity was also known as Ishtar, was the daughter of the moon-god Sin and later the consort of Anu, the deity of heaven. She is usually regarded as the goddess of love and sensual pleasure or fertility.
A graven image or god is anything we place before God, and our main focus is on the person or the object. God’s instructions for those who are professing to be Christians are we shouldn’t worship or serve any other gods. Ashtoreth was the goddess of love and sensual pleasure with the Babylonians. Many Christians are also worshiping the same goddess. Abstinence from sexual gratification should be for all those that aren’t married, and especially for those who are professing to be Christians. When you try to instruct Bible principals, the first thing people will say ” Who can tell them how to live their life”. Throughout the Bible, God has instructed those who are called to be His people, they are to live according to His status (I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service – Romans 12:1).
Sin is a revolt against God’s holy and sovereign will, therefore sin destroys our fellowship with Him. In order to have a willing heart to submit to the word of God, it comes through receiving His salvation as well as our heart being regenerated. This is why people whose heart has been regenerated is called born-again Christians, whereas those who accept salvation and it alone, will continue to live according to the lifestyle they were living prior to accepting salvation.
God has never given us instructions to do something, and not given us the power to do it (For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace – Romans 6:14). The Scriptures use the word flesh in five ways, the body or physical being, the old nature, the epidermis (skin) man’s in material nature and the whole being of man.
Flesh is man’s humanity’s evil, this is why we have been instructed to walk in the Spirit, because if we walk in the flesh, the flesh will manifest itself (Now the works of the flesh are manifested which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God – Galatian 5:19-21).
God nor His word doesn’t change, the principals that went for the Israelites, goes for those who are professing to be Christians. Sexual gratification without marriage has caused many not to receive the fullness of salvation or have a relationship with the Father. Attending church doesn’t give us a relationship with the Father, submitting to His word, and fellowship through prayer brings about a relationship.
When we’re practicing sin, we don’t want to pray neither do we want anyone to instruct us in the ways of the Bible. The Apostle, Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist, Prophet, Bishop, Missionary are to instruct God’s people through the instructions of the Bible. Whether they receive it or not, once the instructions have been given, the responsibility is on those the instructions have been given to (When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life: the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand – Ezekiel 3:18).
Wickedness indicates rejecting instructions to live by the word of God. God has given us the power to submit to His word if we have received His salvation along with sanctification through the regeneration of our heart. This is why it is so important to pray, fast, read and study the word of God; to know His instruction and humble ourselves asking for His help to live according to His word. We can’t live it in our own strength, but through His help, we can do it!