We don’t cast golden calves anymore but we sure put things before God, don’t we?
This is how I started my quiet time today …“I love You more than anything in this world, more than my life, my husband, my children, anything I have, my com…f…ort; I idolize my comfort don’t I, God?”
I sort of figured it out with all the physical pain I experienced throughout my cancer treatment, but today as I sat alone in a room with God telling Him how He’s all that and more to me, I got tripped up on my comfort! In other words, as long as I can get a decent night sleep, in a comfy bed, have a hot shower/cup of coffee, 70 degree temperature, peaceful relationships, “normal” bowel movements, good food, fun things to do, interesting things to read (including Facebook) I will praise You.
What if I have to experience these lingering side effects (like the consequences of not having a rectum and numb fingers and toes from chemo) forever? What if the summers continue to heat up, what if I simply can’t get this weight off; am I willing to put my closeness with God before everything that I want or feel I deserve?
What is it that might be in your way of putting God first? Is it physical comfort (like me), maybe getting a job or money from your current one? Perhaps it’s finding a spouse, healing a marriage or finalizing a divorce, getting pregnant or finding peace for a hurting child? Are you waiting for a law or the political world to be in your favor? What about for your addiction/depression to let up? Maybe you are so wrapped up in a recent/past tragedy that you are stuck there and can’t get close to the One who will bring you inexplicable comfort in all situations.
Won’t you pray with me:
I confess to You my sin of not accepting and being grateful for what You have provided. You have given me more than I could ask or imagine, but just like Adam and Eve I am tempted by things that are not for me right now.
Please help me to dwell in Your presence, soak up what You have for me. No one adores me like You do, yet I put so many things in front of You. Nobody provides for me like You do and yet I overlook what You have blessed me with and wish I had more.
Search me and know me. Create in me a clean heart Oh God. Replace my wants with contentment. Take away all aspects of “if only”, for I will only be satisfied with You. I praise You for Your forgiveness of my sin, for the way You gaze upon me in Fatherly love, despite the sinful way I act towards You.
I bow before you Jesus, my God my King. I worship you in sickness and in health, in rich and in poor, in joy and in sorrow, in pain and in comfort. You are my God and I surrender all my wants to all Your provisions and I ask you to open my eyes to what I have.
I love You.
Your (child) Princess,
(Insert your name here) Charlotte
If you can’t pray that because you are convinced God doesn’t gaze upon you with Fatherly love, then you have yet to understand the Gospel.
Like me, you are a sinner. (You are aware of your separation from God or you wouldn’t be reading this.) God wants us to go to Him for everything, He desires to give us incredible things but most of all He desires closeness with us. When we can’t be close to Him because of our sin, it means we don’t understand Jesus.
God took on the form of man and came to live here for 33 years. He had to feel discomfort like we do, hunger, pain, exhaustion, sorrow, temptation, disappointment and all the things we feel (including the hot sun). He was man, but He was also God and while He experienced life as we do, He never sinned. That is hard to imagine but God in general is hard to imagine in our finite minds, we must just accept the fact that we can’t get it all and have to just go on faith and what is said in the scriptures.
Infinite God > Finite Human Minds = Faith based/scripture led relationship
So while we don’t really have sacrifices for our sin, the way people did thousands of years ago, we do have punishment. Here’s an example:
James Holmes will have to pay for his sin here on earth; his sin is obvious to us.
Similarly, we will also have to pay for our sins one day; though they aren’t blatant to us, they are as grievous of an assault to God as someone randomly shooting strangers in a movie theater. (Remember the equation above if you are tempted to think your judgment over an unusual looking, acting person is any less wrong to that person’s Creator, than what Holmes did. This is not logical to man but we have been told!)
You may not believe that, however, that doesn’t change the fact. I think of Holmes’s bewildered look as he sat in the courtroom; I felt like he was thinking I don’t remember this being part of the plan. Whether planned or not, the law is in place and the consequences are in order.
God has a law in place and you’ve heard it over and over, just like Holmes you’ve overlooked what Judgment Day might be like, because you want things on your terms.
God has shown us that we are sinners and He said, “ I have paid the price for your sin”. For example, Holmes’s dad saying, “I will take the death penalty for my son, let him go.” That would only work if Holmes agreed to the gift, from his father, and our judicial system allowed for such propitiation.
God is saying to you, you are exempt from all sin (past, present or future) if you get off your high horse and accept the fact that Jesus Christ is God, that He walked on this earth, suffered, died, was buried and (hallelujah) rose again for you. He suffered so you don’t have to but you insist on thinking what you feel is right and that you know better than what the Bible says, you don’t feel right about what the gospel says so you dismiss it.
God is a loving God, He wants no one to parish (John 3:16) but if you don’t surrender to Jesus as Lord, you are imprisoned and you will never know the peace that God has ordained for you personally.
I am so sorry for how I have behaved. I have not listened to You, I have gone my own way. Lord please help me to change. I am beginning to understand that You are one in three and though I can’t fully grasp that, I am tired of living in my own strength, I surrender.
I am willing to believe that though I have rejected You so many times, that You love me anyway. I am willing to believe that though it makes no sense to me, that Jesus lived and died as the way of You saving me from my sins. I am willing to lay my sins/my whole life at the foot of the Cross. The burden I have carried this far has been exhausting and You said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. I long for rest Lord, please hold me. Put my sins on the cross and hold me in Your lap so I can rest and appreciate all You provide for me.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’