Reading through what might be considered the history books of the Bible I have been struck by the number of times the people of Israel lose their focus on God. Even more revealing is the number of times I get annoyed with them for doing so. Yet another step of the self challenge is when I begin to shake my head and think here we go again. Then it hits me, I am an Israelite.
Not a new revelation by any stretch of the imagination. However, it is still as convicted every time. I am amazed at how easily I lose my focus on God. Most of the time it is because of self-importance or unholy ambition. Most of the time I do not find myself worshiping the Baal, or any of the gods of foreign people. Nonetheless I find myself worshiping myself and the gods I build in my life. In the end, I can begin to think this whole thing is about me, and what I want. I have heard myself and many people justify ungodly life choices with the phrase, "God would not want me to deny being me."
Hello, Mark 8:43-38 anybody. The American dream and American way of life has instilled in us this false sense that our lives are ours alone. When we return to the teachings of the master we find a very different story and example. In the bible, and in life when people determine to do whatever they think is best regardless of what God is calling them to, whenever we think that our rights as a human being are more important than the calling of God, dangerous things have resulted. Our life is not our own, never has been, never will be.
So, before I scoff at the Israelites, I guess I better look at my life. I guess I should also learn from what happened when the Israelites, you know the people of God, when they thought their rights and ambitions were more important than God.