High Places

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We must remove our high places.

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2 Chronicles 26:1–5 (CSB)
All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. After Amaziah the king rested with his ancestors, Uzziah rebuilt Eloth and restored it to Judah.
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
In the 1960’s the world was caught captive by the landing of humans on the moon. That generation sat enthralled as they heard or watched the first steps ever taken by man on the surface of the moon.
The astronauts gathered rocks, and debris for analyzing and other scientific related studies for a better understanding and for the betterment of mankind.
Mankind, they, being the first humans to land, represented the entire human race.
After all, it wasn’t giraffes that did the math, built the technology, and paid for the enterprise.
It was Man, so those that landed represented the achievement for all human kind.
However, those men that landed were sent by their country;- they represented their country.
So, along with completing their objectives, they did one more thing before they left,
They planted the American Flag,
Flag Slide
Their was a considerable amount of debate as you can imagine about the implications of planting a national flag on an unchartered territory.
It almost didn’t happen. Then it almost happened that instead of just the American flag, there was almost a flag representing the UN, and also up for debate was the Christian flag.
But, Ill read what happened from an article in
(NASA Contractor Report 188251 “Where No Flag Has Gone Before: Political and Technical Aspects of Placing a Flag on the Moon”)
A House and Senate conference committee agreed on the final version of the bill on 4 November 1969 which included a provision that "the flag of the United States, and no other flag, shall be implanted or otherwise placed on the surface of the moon, or on the surface of any planet, by members of the crew of any spacecraft ... as part of any mission ... the funds for which are provided entirely by the Government of the United States." The amendment, in deference to the Outer Space Treaty, concluded with the statement "this act is intended as a symbolic gesture of national pride in achievement and is not to be construed as a declaration of national appropriation by claim of sovereignty."
And so, the American flag was not only planted once but has been planted six times on the surface of the moon, on six different locations.
Not to be outdone,
Many of our contemporary nations of the world today have also sent missions to the moon.
But none have managed to actually Plant a flag, except for one.
China
Chinese Flag Slide
Although no other country has been able to raise a flag on the moon, one decided to plant a flag under water in the sea bed of the arctic.
Russian Flag Slide
Published online Express; Titled: North Pole: How Russian submarine planted flag below Arctic waters in territory claim
By CALLUM HOARE 18:29, Thu, Jul 11, 2019 | UPDATED: 18:29, Thu, Jul 11, 2019
The move was orchestrated as part of the government’s plan to claim nearly half of the Arctic seabed, claiming the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of Russia’s continental shelf and thus Russian territory.
Flags are a symbol of sovereignty.
They are a sign that expresses to all that see it, that those of that flag are the ones running the show there.
The flag that is planted, is from the nation that are in power, and that RULE!
Speaking of China, I remember a movie called, The Red Corner, about an American wrongly accused of murder in China, and after escaping Chinese police, he desperately makes his way along the roof tops for navigation. Just off in the distance he spots the beautiful American flag waving ever so proudly. The emotion captured there by the director was magnificient. For the character knew if he could just make it to that flag, he would be spared & protected from the sure cruelty he was to face under the Chinese flag.
Why? Because He was an American. He was of that Flag.
That Flag, like all flags to which is their intended purpose, demonstrates who you are an where your loyalty lies.
Because the flag over your life, displays your identity.
If you’re an Italian, you probably like Italian food, if you’re an American, its a good guess you like Cheeseburgers & Pizza.
For this Reason, we were and should have been suspect of the intentions of islamic intentions when they submitted a request to build an islamic cultural center, that just happens to have a mosque inside
Do you know where this was being proposed to be built?
A 1/10th of a mile form Ground Zero,
The site of a an islamic attack on American soil.
They can call it what they want, But I see it as planting a literal flag, at the site of a relatively small victory for them.
Why would they want to do that ?
The same reason, any Conquering power does everywhere it assumes control.

In a traditional marriage,

in America and most places in the world, when a marriage happens, between a Man & Woman,
The Man plants his flag by giving his wife His family name.
When the vows are said, usually a ring is given as a sign of the perpetuity of love, but it also acts as a flag on your finger.
You belong to someone.
Gangs of every type, use graffiti and Colors to mark the territory they control.
Just like sovereign nations do by planting a Flag, at the Entrance to every one of their border crossings.
Flags Announce who is in control.

Where do flags go?

On high places.
On the highest peaks of mountain ridges,
High up on poles,
Lifted up higher than anything else that would obstruct the view of the flag.
This is how it is shown who is in control.

Out of all the Kings of Israel & Judah,

Even among the few like Uzziah or his fathers, Joash & Amaziah before him, only four had the courage & tenacity to be loyal to their calling, by removing the pagan worshipping sites including the high places
When you read the Books of 1 & 2 Kings, or 1 & 2 Chronicles, most of what you will hear recorded goes like this.
“Then he became king and reigned for so many years, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.”
But, as I said there are four that stands in contrast to the rest of them.
They are Kings; Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, & Josiah.
The Bible says, of them, “They did right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the way of their father David, & they WATCH THIS
Removed the “High Places

Why was it so critical?

Because as the nation lived in the valleys below the mountains, the Flag of the enemy was still swaying ever so proudly high above all Israel, even above the temple of the Lord.
As other nations or peoples made their way into Israel, that which was supposed to set Israel apart from the rest of the world was the magnificient Temple of God in Jerusalem.
The temple of God signified a Mono-Theistic culture or Rule of Law & life.
But instead what people encountered as they crossed the high mountains coming in was the pagan altars to foreign gods.
This made Yahweh appear to be just another of their gods instead being the National Identity of Israel.
See the people of Israel were worshipping God in the temple, but most were also worshipping on the high places as well to other gods.
They had one foot in the Temple, and the other on the high places.
God punished the nation of Israel because he would not share their worship with any other gods.
Now, we learn in the rest of Uzziah’s story.
2 Chronicles 26:16 (CSB)
But when he became strong, he grew arrogant, and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the Lord his God by going into the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar.
His blessings were limited by his unwillingness to deal with the high places in his life.
High places, you know that flag, the ruling power over your life?
One of his High places were apparently pride and arrogance.
God limited the blessing over Uzziah’s life and reign as king because although he wanted to do what was right in God’s eyes.
He was unwilling to deal with the high places that actually rule over you.
We read in the rest of Uzziah’s story that he angered God and spent the rest of his life in leperous exile being diseases in his feet.

How about you?

What high places do you have still swaying control over your life?
Although you are here in church right now, or even a faithful worshipper, of His and want to do right in His eyes.
Have you knocked down those high places in your life?
They could be anything.
They can be your arrogance, pride, love, illicit desires, greed, foul mouth,
Anything!
See, you can still be loved by God, and receive some of His blessings from time to time.
But as long as you are operating with all of those un-dealt with high places in your life,
you are gonna always go through the old, “I get one step ahead, and knocked three steps back” experience.
Because TRUE breakthrough, TRUE and sincere repentance must take place, and that includes faces the flags of those familiar high places in your life that still hold you bound to its power over you
limiting the blessings of Lord, over.
Having you in a constant state of, “I want to do right by the Lord, but I want to hold on to these areas in my life too.”
God doesn’t work that way.
In Israel, there was ONE TEMPLE, Just One
Go has not changed, He is the same yesterday, today and forever,
Now that God through Jesus has made YOU His temple.
He will not share His temple or Worship with any other gods.
You must breakdown the high places in your life, whatever they are.
Remember that flags demonstrate who’s image you bear
We Christians believe that God’s Word is true, and it says “God created us in His image.”
He has already planted His flag in your life before you were even born.
We already bear His image,
He invented flags, and nations, & tongues.
So then now in YOU,
there should only be ONE THING controlling you.
The one in who’s image you were created, God!
As I mentioned earlier, about names,
We call ourselves Christian, that means all that we have flying over our high places should be Jesus!
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