Following on from my post last week 'A cry for help' This morning I read this...
"But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.’.... Just as a thief is chagrined, but only when caught, so the people of Israel are chagrined. All I ever see of them is their backsides. They never look me in the face, but when things go badly, they don’t hesitate to come running, calling out, ‘Get a move on! Save us!’ Why not go to your handcrafted gods you’re so fond of? Rouse them. Let them save you from your bad times" (Excerpts from Jeremiah 2:25-28)
Kinda re-emphasises what I was saying about not running to God when we realise things are starting to go wrong, or have already come crashing down around our ears! However, today it got me thinking about another side to it. The emphasis here is about how sometimes we have our other gods, our idols, the things we dedicate our time and our efforts too. Dare I say, the things that we daydream about!?
I am so so glad that none of you can read my thoughts. My daydreams range from the pointless to the ridiculous!
God is saying 'You put these things above me in your life, and now you're running to me for help? Let your pointless, unhelpful daydreams/obsessions save you... Oh, they can't? WELL WHAT ARE YOU WORSHIPING THEM FOR THEN!?'
I'm paraphrasing of course.
So, here is perhaps another insight into what it means to 'Live by the Spirit'. Not having things that we make more important than God. It's more than just that though. If you'll permit me to simplify the idea of 'Sin' as things that are selfish. I know it doesn't say this in the verse above, but the principle still applies (I'm pretty sure) The acts of the sinful nature are all acts of selfishness, does it then stand to reason that the fruit of the spirit is unselfishness? or am I being overly simplistic? maybe unselfishness us a part of it.
My daydreams and obsessions are selfish. It's all about me. What I want, what makes me happy. It's actually quite stressful trying to get your own way all the time! Think about it. "What if I don't get the biggest cookie?" "What if they don't like me" "What if someone is better than me at the things I'm good at"
I could go on.
Be warned as well, sometimes it's not even as obvious as that.
You know what I've discovered quite recently? Putting God first, and putting other people first is really really peaceful. It's difficult to explain (and, easy to forget and go back to 'ME ME ME' again, but I recommend it.
Last time, I had a vague idea, but here I have something more solid:
Don't let things have more of our love, time, imagination than God does.
Actively seek to give God our attention, love and time, and this includes putting other people before ourselves.
We can't do one without the other. God doesn't want to share us, and he doesn't want to be our last resort.