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Sunday, August 29, 2010

One Week

Last Sunday in church, we were given a challenge: spend fifteen minutes in prayer asking God to show us where we have loved others/things more than Him, and asking God to show us how to love Him more than anything else. That challenge took root in my heart and God has shown me where I have allowed other things have priority in my life.

God wasted no time. On Monday, my devotions took me to a passage written by John Piper regarding our desire for God:

‎ "The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth."

God brought to my mind a few things (okay, so several things) that I have put ahead of Him. Things that aren't necessarily evil, in and of themselves, but things I spend too much time on. Things that take my focus away from Him. People that I desire to please more than I desire to please Him. People I don't want to "offend" more than I don't want to offend God. Things I want to achieve and have success over that aren't even remotely related to Godliness.
In my efforts to remove some of those things this week, I have been woefully unsuccessful. God has been reminding me daily (if not more often!) of what I need to change, and yet, I am stiff-necked! Even more so now, I understand the lament in Romans 7:15: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do"! I have rationalized and justified and defended my position to God all week long. All the while knowing I was in the wrong!
And so this morning, anticipating Part Two of the sermon that started this whole process, in my prayer time I asked God to give me hope; a hope that I might someday "get there". Psalm 139: 23-24 was my answer: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
At first, I was frustrated with these verses. God had already shown me the wicked things in my heart. I wanted help, not more conviction! But then, I heard: "Who does the work in these verses?" And I realized, it's God who is searching, trying, knowing, and leading. So the next thought was: "What are you required to 'do'?" The answer was soft: If God is leading me, then all I must do is... follow.
Just follow. Let Him lead. Stop arguing. Stop fighting. Stop digging in my heels. Let Him lead. Just follow...
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