I think my neck is broken.
Oh, my horizontal vision is strong, but my vertical, my ability to gaze upward, is maimed. I can't seem to move my head to see what I'm made to see. Lately, I've found myself taking the deepest joy and beauty from things around me rather than things above me. Placing my faith in fallen man because that's what I can easily see always disappoints. Yes, God gives such lovely and wonderful gifts to His children, and we are meant to enjoy them of course, but it becomes too easy for us to idolize them.
And this God of the universe is a jealous God, desiring all of our affection.
I'm a relationship-oriented person. I thrive when I'm connecting and loving and sharing. Finding a kindred spirit fuels my heart and gives me such joy. And so I jump in with both feet, ready to relish what God has blessed me with.
But I've noticed something, and it's taken my thick head awhile to realize it.
I take the very tools and materials God gives me and I build my own little idol. And while it may seem ridiculous to liken it to the little wooden idols we read about in the Old Testament, that's exactly how ridiculous it is!
My idol is my relationships.
The moment I put more time and effort into strengthening my relationships than I do strengthening my love affair with my Creator, I have fallen on my knees to worship this little wooden Baal.
But y'all, my knees are tired and scraped up. This worship of what's around me is wearing me out, simply because I'm always left wanting more. I seek satisfaction that only God can provide in all the wrong places, and when people can't fill that need, I become angry and confused.
And all the effort I'm putting into keeping relationships strong is actually slowly killing them...because I'm focusing on the wrong things, the horizontal things, the things that will easily fall into place when I'm worshipping the giver of all. When my heart rejoices in only Him, everything else is as it should be (Psalm 33:21).
He's been whispering this truth for awhile, but, as we do so many times, I've been pushing Him aside, hoping for an answer more to my liking. Something that's easier and won't cost as much! As connections are strained and friends feel distant, I kick and scream and hold tightly to my idol, unwilling to believe the truth that if I simply toss it into the fire, He will restore my heart's joy. I do everything I can to make things work, to try to strike the perfect balance, when the only perfect balance is the one He creates.
I just need to look up.
He's calling for my affections. He's demanding my praise. He's shouting at the top of His lungs into the deepest caverns of my heart that He is the only satisfaction I should seek. My desire for connection with Him should trump all desires.
"My heart says of you, 'Seek His face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek." (Psalm 27:8 NIV)
How about you, friend? What is your idol? What is He calling you to let go of? What's keeping you from living free? Ask Him to realign your affections and move your gaze upward.
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