There are choices each one of us has to make.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water the earth; you shall not bow down to then nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” (Ex. 20:2-5).
Truth be told, I know that I have not and do not take this scripture as seriously as I should. No, I have not taken gold or wood or bronze and made myself a calf, or anything else that I then set before my eyes and bowed down to as my god. After all, I know that there is only one God and one King, and I have given my life to Him. But the question remains for me, as I am sure it does for each one of us: have I placed anyone or anything else as number one in my life. Even if I did not mean to, did it somehow take Gods rightful and commanded primary spot in my heart and mind?
Jesus said in Matthew 10:37-39, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worth of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Is this true of me? Is it true of you? Do we love the luxuries of this life, cars, money, family, computers, movies, sports teams, doing church, more than we love him? Have I made any of these things too important in my life and allowed my flesh to turn them into idols?
Jesus also said that we cannot serve both god and money in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the other and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
While I serve my needs and interests instead of him, and I hating or despising him? I know I am lifting my self up as more important than whatever God has placed on my heart to do or say. God asks me to say something to someone, yet I analyze it and come to the conclusion that it would hurt MY pride, or make ME look silly, or how will the other person take what I have to say to them? In those instances it should be obvious as I write them down that all these concerns were centered on me, instead of Him.
If He was first in my life instead of me, would I then be more concerned about my own words or actions getting in the way of what He wanted to get accomplished through me?
We want Him to lead us, but are we willing to follow? I want God to lead me and I seek Him through prayer and His word to find His will, yet at the same time the question must be asked, am I truly willing to follow wherever He leads. It seems like one of everyone’s favorite verses is Jer. 29:11: ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ It is comforting to know that God has plans and purposes for my life, yet it seems like I forget that He knows the plans He has for me, while I do not fully know those plans. Thus, although I seek Him, that does not mean He is going to tell me everything. In fact, there have been times that I can look back on and be thankful that I did not fully know the plan, but glad that I went through it when I did.
At times it is like we are more willing to have Him be our copilot than our pilot, because then are still ultimately in charge and can overrule His advice or counsel, since we think it is all about us and our happiness instead of His work in our lives and His glory. Or we treat Him like a GPS system in our car. We expect turn by turn instructions, but want to be able to take any random turns we want and then have Him just recalibrate His directions plans and purposes utilizing the road we picked instead of the one He was trying to have us use. Instead we need to recalibrate our hearts and minds with Him in mind so that we will instantaneously abandon our plans, our roads, and our desires to choose His. As Christians, it is time we replace our outdated Global Positioning System with our God Positioning System. Or are we only willing to follow God if it means that it will not cost us anything, if it is not painful, or if we can always have our own way?
We must, as individuals, come to the understanding that we cannot follow Christ wholeheartedly as He asks and commands us to, if we will only do so on our own terms. We must understand and live like we are on a mission, given to us by God Himself. And we must understand that being here, in this world, on this mission, is not where it ends, but where it begins. Thus we must no longer be caught up in this world and the things of this world as we are. Our possessions need to take a back seat to God, as we come to grips with the fact that we are just stewards of these earthly possessions anyways.
We must get real with Christ, and abandon our terms, and allow following Christ to cost us whatever is required.