Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The HEART of the Matter

Life is messy. Life is hard. The deeper we go in relationships, the messier it becomes. I’d rather live in the mess than stay on the surface, but in all honesty, jumping into the mess with others can be painful.

I’m writing this as I just spent probably the first 15 minutes of my prayer time in tears, grieving over choices friends have made, people choosing sin over God. I realized in this prayer time, that if I grieve this much over another person choosing sin, how much more does God grieve?

Or an even harder question to ask: What in my life causes the LORD grief?

Our sin not only separates us from God, it grieves Him.

As you read through the Bible, you find so many accounts of people choosing sin, compromising a little here, a little there, to end up far from the LORD or worshipping other gods.

So there is truth, purpose, and love behind the first commandment to have ‘no other gods’ before Him (Exodus 20:3). He is jealous for me. When we have other gods it not only hurts us, it hurts God. These commandments are not restrictive but meant to show us what leads to life and life abundant.

Maybe that’s why the psalmist always talks about “delighting in your commandments”. . . because there is true joy and peace when we live God’s way, according to His precepts and commandments.

So then why do we constantly choose ‘other gods’? The god of drunkenness, relationships, materialism, etc.? Only to prove the proverb “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

Why do we chose folly over wisdom? TV over abiding? Beer over God? Death over life?

Can you imagine if all my husband wanted was to spend time with me, love me, help me and I continued to go out and try to find that love somewhere else, with something else? All the while, it’s waiting at home for me.

All this to say our sin (choosing our way instead of God-whether in action or attitude) grieves God, separates us from Him, and brings us pain in the end.

Are we truly living and abiding in that first commandment? No other gods? Is there something bigger than God in your life? Something more important, more “fun”, more comfortable? Something causing a mess in your life?

Let us find these other gods, remove them, repent, and come back to the One True Living God.

The HEART of the matter is this . . . NO OTHER GODS. Choose Him over sin, God and His way of life over our own. Come to the end of self to begin a new life in Him.

1 comment:

  1. this is all of mankind's struggle.
    our struggle since the very beginning in the garden.

    and i love jesus, but if i am honest this is my struggle everyday.

    this is why He commands us "you shall have no other God's" He knows it's going to be our struggle. He is generous to give us a heads up!

    and, "He is jealous for me." (Praise Him!)

    a little over a year ago i discovered that i had made a church and the identity i had in that church my idol. it was humbling. but God.
    God wooed me to "come away with Him"
    it wasn't easy, but i am so glad He did.

    He doesn't allow our idols to take his place, but in His mercy (which isn't necessarily the easy way) He draws us back to Himself. Back to One true God first. Living God only.

    He will do this with your friends. that is His way. He is jealous for them.