O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. - Psalm 131:1
God created us to live in the world - the problem is we often get caught up in the world. We battle our flesh and desires on a daily basis, and so we are tempted by the things of this world. We are tempted to seek after all sorts of things - material possessions, reputation, accomplishments, relationships. And when we are tempted, our hearts begin to go after those things - we make friends with the world. We start following the world’s rules and believing the world’s lies all so we can have those things our heart desires. We become a friend of the world. We want material possessions, so we hang on to our money over giving to God what is due to Him. We worry about what people think about us, so we begin to make decisions based on popular opinion. We desire to be recognized for our accomplishments, so we pour our energy into our education or our career. Our desire to be loved and respected in our relationships with others become becomes more important than abiding in God’s commands to love and forgive others as He loves and forgives us.
Going after the things in this world means compromising our love of God in favor of those things. Our desires, fueled by our love of this world, demand our attention, our time, and our devotion. This creates a friendship with the world, and a hostility toward God. As we give in to the things of this world, we separate ourselves from Him.
We are told from the very beginning of scripture that we shall have no other God’s before Him. When we make the things of this world a priority over Him, we are committing grave sin. Yet, we often don’t see our friendship with the world in our excuses to place other things over Him. I have such a busy schedule - it’s so hard to find time with Him every day. It’s hard for me to get out of work to make it to small group. The weekend is my only time with my family so sometimes I have to miss church. I can’t memorize scripture - my brain just doesn’t work like that. I’ve got so much going on right now, I just don’t have the energy or time to go, read, journal, pray...
Excuses the world tempts us into believing are reasons to place something else in our lives on the throne, and kick Jesus off. Excuses that put a roadblock into our path, excuses that put our prayers on mute. Then we wonder why we are struggling, why God feels so distant, why our prayers are not being heard. Friendship with the world is hostility toward God.
He created us to love Him, to prioritize Him over every other thing we’ve got going on in our lives. He made the Spirit that dwells within us, and He is jealous for it. He created our hearts to worship, or adore. The intention was to worship and adore Him, but the world draws our adoration to the tangible things in front of us far too often.
When we allow anything to accumulate on the table of our heart and mind, occupying our time and attention in a worshipful way—that’s a problem. It’s pride to want what we want when we want it. But sweeping all of those things off the table so only God remains as the object of our worship aligns with our ultimate reality. We are to live for Him, breathing for Him, and spending our lives for Him. That’s humility. Anything else is pride. God in the center of our attention is the essence of worship. When we honor Him by submitting our desires in humility, and place Him at the center, He showers His grace upon us.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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