““Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NASB
I remember being my own God. I worshipped at the altar of self, adoring my self perceived virtue and marveling at my intellect and making vain comparisons to others I felt were not as great as I. I made my own rules, set my own standards and had little regard for other god/people who did not worship at my throne.
I looked upon those who followed Jesus as less than. In many ways I was dealing with the rejection I had encountered in church when I was young. I left church after several toxic experiences. In reality I had my eyes on others and not on Jesus.
I wandered in the wilderness for twenty seven years, building altars to my self. God in His sovereignty began to put people into my life that annoyed the hell out of me. Little did I know that He was sending those people to convict me of my sinfulness and literally save from the real hell that was my potential destiny.
Despite my great resistance, He saved me from my sins. My self/god was dead and the kingdom was in shambles as God began to demolish my strongholds of sin and pride. The whole experience left me completely unstable, filled with uncertainty, not really sure of anything.
My outspoken pride was replaced by silence. When I did speak, I couldn’t help but testify. I remember working at the Des Moines Register at the time as a sports news assistant writing short stories and taking scores. On that magical Easter Sunday in 1998 I went to work after church and announced to the whole news room that I had come to Christ. The sports newsroom was the antithesis of church. I gained notoriety that day to say the least.
In my instability I clung to God as I endured His correction and renovation of my inward parts. I discovered Calvary Chapel radio and began listening to sermons whenever I could. I studied the Bible daily, seeking answers to questions as God tore down all the idols in my life. I was consumed by the pursuit of the knowledge of God.
I read nothing but the Word of God for several years. It was as if I was afraid to take my eyes off of His word for fear of veering off course and crashing. My laser focus on the Lord made me odd to many and a target for the evil one. Attacks from without and within kept me reeling, but clinging to the truth of God. It was a fight for survival.
That focus in the early times set the foundation for any maturity I have today. I am not sure I would have survived in the faith had I not been so myopic in my pursuit of Christ. My past god of self was still hanging around in the back of my heart, looking for an opening to draw me unto myself. He is still there whispering in my ear, trying to remind me of the feigned glory of my past.
The reality of my degrading body, my daily struggles and humiliation reminds me constantly that I am not god, but dependent on the One True God and that saved me from being a proud man bound for eternity in hell. My thorn in the flesh that I am blessed to have.
God has given me opportunity to spend quality time with Him. I look forward to my morning meeting with the Lord. I am finding that my time with Him is getting longer and more in depth as He grabs my attention, my emotions, and has given me purpose. I am thankful for this season.
The great thing about God is that He is fathomless: there is
no end to Him and one could live a thousand years and never run out of revelations of His righteousness and the incredible riches of His grace.
Today we can be consumed by so many things, distracted by our worries or even drawn into worship of other gods. Only the One True God consumes and creates. He gives more than He takes away.
I choose to give Him my attention as He occupies space in my head and my heart. I urge you to seek the Lord today. Love Him with all your heart, all your soul and all your might.
I give Him all today and I am amazed at how He energizes me to serve Him. He brings life from this increasingly fragile body for His glory. There is nothing or no one more worthy of my worship.
Be consumed today!