Everybody worships something.
What is the thing you can’t stop thinking about? What is the subject you won’t stop talking about?
For some seasons of life, it is natural to focus all our attention on new and exciting blessings such as a wedding or a baby! These things are all-encompassing for a time. They take preparation and planning and you can’t help but pour all of your energy and thought-life into them!
For today, let’s say we are not in the “I can’t believe I’m getting married” or “there’s a tiny person on the way!” phase of life.
Ask yourself this question:
What takes up the most room in your head and heart?
It could be any number of things. For a large majority of people it’s family. For some, it’s work. Maybe it’s identity. It could be safety, or a ministry, or a cause. It might be the desire for a husband or children or a new home. It could be health goals. Or maybe it’s a desire to amass wealth. It could even be that what takes our attention is us: wanting to make sure we are protected at all costs.
None of these are necessarily bad things in themselves. But they are not the best thing. When we hold our desires and plans in higher esteem than God’s, they have become idols.
I submit to you that placing God first in our thoughts and affections will be infinitely more satisfying.
It is only when we worship God alone and submit to him as Lord that we will truly be living our best life. And I don’t mean that in a creepy Osteeny way. What I mean is when we allow God to pry the idols we cling to out of our tightly clenched fists, our hands will be open to receive what he has for us.
As we spend time with him, allowing him to occupy that prized position of “first” in our hearts and minds, he will show us the way to go. Slowly, our priorities will begin to change, and the things we thought we needed to feel important or whole may not even need to come along for the ride.
Let me give some examples:
If we are already satisfied in his love, we won’t need to search for it in places he’s told us not to go.
If we are in his Word, the desire to accumulate wealth may give way to a desire to take care of people in need.
If we know our loving God has promised us an eternity of safety and joy, we won’t cling to temporary pleasures or comfort at the cost of disobedience.
If we believe God wants us to be in community with other believers and think of others more highly than ourselves, we will prioritize our time and value people differently.
If we trust God as the ultimate caretaker, we can loosen the reins of fear-based control in whatever situation we face.
I know there are many unique situations I’m not addressing, but the bottom line is we must make our relationship with God the main thing! If we aren’t spending time in prayer, and in the Word, and in iron-sharpening community with other Christians, we will drift towards our own stuff. That’s why we need to keep ourselves anchored in God’s truth and not our own.
He has our families. He is over our health. He is a better provider than we could hope to be. His love will not fail us. We are safe in him. We don’t need to search for truth and meaning in anything other than him. We are already known. We are already loved.
God is good, life is short, and eternity is long.
I didn’t say hell is hot even though that would have been funnier.
Let’s get it right.