High Places vs. Church
“And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.” (1 Kings 3.3 NKJV).
“High places” become a major stronghold for the kings and people of God’s chosen nation–Israel. The fact that Solomon allowed this one sin to slip by him had major ramifications; one of which was that he started worshiping other Gods at these high places. His intent and the desire of the people was to worship God, but Leviticus 17.3-5 specifically tells the Chosen People to bring their offerings (worship) to the Tabernacle or House of God. By the time the divided nation of Israel was completely destroyed, they were worshipping other Gods and committing all kinds of sin at these high places. The high places essentially became flesh-contrived religious substitutes used to justify the selfish and ungodly desires of the people. When Christians decide not to join a church and instead worship God on their own terms, they are creating a high place in their lives. This may seem innocent at first; but without the authority and anointing of a local church, the corrupted heart of human nature will begin to twist the truth and use this high place as an excuse to satisfy the flesh. We can worship God anytime and anywhere; but along with our individual worship, we are each called to a specific and profound purpose in the Body of Christ. We will completely miss the fullness of our destiny if we are living our lives void of a faithful church. The Church is the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19.7-9 NLT): a harmonious collection of righteous (albeit imperfect) people, caring and serving others while glorifying their Creator; and we each have our important part to play.
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other” (Romans 12.4-5 NLT).