Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Idolatry Challenge

Before I go to bed at night, I like to have a bowl of cereal and watch a television program. Even if I am uber sleepy, I'll stay up and complete the same routine. Tonight however I thought about giving that time to God instead, but kept sitting in my chair. I got annoyed with having to change my routine, with changing something for God. I had to stop myself and consider how dependent I was becoming upon these superficial things to give me security and make me happy. In the 10 Commandments God commands us to have no other Idols before him. We often think of idols as extremes in our life, things we literally bow down to or allow to control us. But how often do we consider the little things that perhaps we consider routine or for our enjoyment? When I thought about it, I found myself hating the idea of having to give the little things I love throughout the week. I had created mini-idols in these things, and wanted to choose them over God. So I decided to challenge myself to eliminate them for a week, and then maybe a month if necessary. I can give the extra time back to God instead, and be fruitful. So my challenge to all of us is to give up something this week, besides a necessity, that we have found we can't live without. Let's see what happens.


Sometimes we like to plan our days and weeks. We pray about them, and tell ourselves that we are letting God have control. But nothing disproves that we are really giving up control like a disruption in our plans. Yesterday I had planned to get up and study, and then make it to school to sell my books before the book store closed at 3pm. I thought that I needed to do something extra in order ensure my financial stability. But God had other plans. When I went to start my car, nothing happened, and my car alarm was freaking out a little bit. So I had to wait for a tow-truck, and not only did I not make it to school by 3pm, but I missed out on an hour and a half of study time. I was fairly annoyed that this had disrupted my plan, but stopped myself to think about God's plan. I was concentrating on what I thought God stopped me from doing, instead of what he may have saved me from. The battery in my car had not actually died, there ended up being a problem with the computer that the repair man was able to fix. A problem which could have seriously disrupted my first day at work, which was today. So God saved me from a far greater mishap, one that could have affected my entire work experience. I was also humbled by this disruption, because it forced me to rely on God. It forced me to say, Ok God - I get it. And a day later I'm still here, I still have food to eat, I still have time to study. So if you are reading this, let God disrupt your plans. Even better don't make your own in the first place. Praise him for the disruptions He has caused in your life, they just might have saved it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Crazy Love

Occasionally we have to remind ourselves of why we are here on earth. It's relatively easy to go about our days, focus on ourselves, and lose sight of why we are even able to those things. Thankfully I have been reminded about where our focus needs to be by a great little book called Crazy Love. Even though I live for God, and try to serve him righteously each day, I often do it for selfish reasons. Sometimes we do it out of guilt or fear, or just plain routine. But how often do we serve him, run to him, and seek him out of sheer love? And more importantly how often do we put ourselves and our wants aside completely, and serve him without seeking something in return? This book has reminded me that first of all, this is God's show, and we are tiny specs. We are here to glorify Him, we are here to carry out his plans for us. Nothing else we do really matters, and nothing else will hold up through the fire. Secondly, it gave me a new perspective of God's Love. The author, Francis Chan, described the feeling he gets when his daughter runs up to him when he returns home from work; and I realized that this is how God feels about us to. He is waiting for us to joyfully run to him, and learn about him, and talk to him about anything. And we also should be like that little girl running to her father. Our love needs to be that deep for God, that we run out in our bare feet, maybe barely dressed just to embrace him.

Anyone reading this might be wondering why I am writing this. It is not to exhibit anything about myself, but to make you want to run to God in the way I want to run to God right now. It is because I don't want anyone to die without knowing His love, and without being saved by it. Crazy Love was a tool God used to open my eyes, and I recommend it. But most of all, please find a way to feel God's love. It is real and deep, allow yourself to be enveloped by it. Don't hesitate before it's too late.