Sunday, February 1, 2009

Where are your Loves?

Psalm 16
1Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 2I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you."

3As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

5The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

7I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

11You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

How do I know if I love Christ? What are the marks of someone who is other worldly? If we are in the world but not of the world what does that look like?

In the past I have said "I love my job" many times. I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and have come to the conclusion that God is changing me in this area. On my own I probably would always be one who was very focused on work, even when not at work. I believe we are to work hard and be good stewards of our responsibilities, but where does that become an idol? If we are to be the best dominion takers and desire God above everything where is the balance?

If I think about work all the time, how I can make something better, "how we can be more efficient?", "how we can be more profitable and how we can take better care of our clients?", none of this is bad, UNLESS there is no time remaining for the One who has given me the resources and abilities to actually do all these things. If my time with The Lord is replaced with thinking about work, or whatever else is your idol, then I have taken God off of the throne of my heart and replaced Him with something of much lesser value. Some examples of this might be children, homes, relaxation, clothes, cars, video games and you can add to this.

Balance is always a challenge, as I have to spend a good deal of time doing my work, but where does my heart long to be? Is it my greatest joy to be thinking about work, or am I communing with God while I work, and seeking His wisdom and direction in all my decisions as I work? Is the pull on my heart toward God, or toward the other things?

As a man, I can't speak to the ladies on this, it is easy to think that I should fix this thing and just go at it w/o looking to Christ for He understanding of the situation. What I am trying to say, so inarticulately, is that when we live with Christ at the center and are seeking His will, in every situation, every minute of every day, then we will start to draw near to the Throne Room with confidence and He will strengthen our faith, give us endurance in trials, a love for others, boldness because we have watched Him work mightily through us, change our loves from fading to lasting and use us in some way to effect the lives of others around us.

I am convicted that I have loved earthly things too much, but God is really starting to change that in me. I honestly don't know how He is doing that, except that He is giving me a love for Him and His Word that I have never had before, and made it so I can't ignore the hole in my heart that can only be filled with all that He is. This is certainly not of my doing, except that He has given me a desire to pray that He would change me.

I want to encourage others to ask Him for wisdom and to change you into His image. You might not desire it right now, but pray for it anyway. He will change you, because He wants us all to come to true repentance, and to love Him above all. Pray that He would give you other worldly loves and wisdom to balance those with your responsibilities here. Pray that, even if you don't have it now, He would give you a love for His Word, prayer and others. If He can change me, He can certainly change you. The greatest part in all this is that this is what He wants to do in us and through us. Pray and believe He will do it.

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