One truth about life that we all eventually learn is that it beats us up. Unexplainable difficulties arise, loss and pain enter our life, and situations in life just get hard to deal with. It’s really a part of life, yet that does not make it any easier to maneuver through when you’re in the middle of it.
Last night at our small group discussion we were looking at Jeremiah chapter 2 (we meet weekly to talk about the previous Sunday’s sermon at church, discussing what we think as well as how we can apply the truth presented from God’s Word to our lives). In this chapter God begins in the first 8 verses by reminding Israel that he has always been there for them; he has always been faithful to them. Then in the rest of the chapter God talks about how Israel has walked away from him; how they have been unfaithful to him. The key verses for that section are verses 11 – 13.
The majority of our discussion centered around what can cause us to wander from God and become unfaithful. During the discussion, one person made a point that was dead on. It wasn’t a truth we didn’t already know, but it was a truth we often skip over or forget to focus on. The point was made that our relationship with God, or our willingness to walk away from God, all stems from where our heart is at concerning our relationship with God. We often look at the outward actions of ourselves or others to determine if they are being faithful to God or not, but ultimately it is a heart issue.
And we find out where our heart really is with God when life knocks us down and the unexplainable difficulties begin to happen. It is in those moments that, if we don’t truly love God with all our heart, our actions can begin to move us away from obeying God and instead begin looking to take care of ourselves in our own way. But if we love God with all our heart, then that love will drive us closer to him and help us continue to follow him, all because our love for him leads us to trust him.
Where is our heart?
Do we obey God’s commands because we have to? Do we see our relationship with God as a list of requirements we have to check off each day in order to say that we did what we were supposed to? Do we obey him out of fear that if we don’t he will punish us?
Do we obey God’s commands because we love him? Do we see our relationship with God as a close loving relationship with the creator of the universe and savior of our souls? Do we obey him out of love for him, so that it is only natural to want to do what he says?
If our relationship with God is a list of requirements we are supposed to do, we will often only be motivated to do what is right as long as things are going well. But when difficulties arise that challenge us, those requirements can become unimportant and taking care of self by doing whatever we want can become the focus.
If our relationship with God is based on a love relationship, we will be motivated to follow him and do what he says even when things get difficult, because we love him. That love keeps our focus on him through the difficulties, and we continue to learn to trust him more and more no matter what is happening to us.
It is not always going to be easy. In any loving relationship, there will be days when you just don’t “feel” it. That is where we have to remember that true love is not based on a feeling, but rather a choice and commitment. The feeling can definitely be there. However, the feeling comes and goes. If love is only based on the feeling, it’s incomplete and eventually comes to an end. But, if love is based upon a choice and commitment, it will remain even in the moments when the feeling is missing.
Where is my heart?
A year ago I published my second book, called Enough. In the book I explore the question “Do we really believe that God is greater than what this world has to offer?” Question is, do I believe what I wrote? Is my heart truly in love with God more than the things of this world? Is my identity found in Christ alone, whether or not I have anything else that I want?
It’s a question we will all eventually answer. And, we don’t answer it with our words…we answer it with our actions and reactions. Do we truly love God more than the things of this world? Do we find our identity in Christ alone, even if we don’t get anything else in this life that we want? Is God enough for us?
If our heart is truly in love with God, then we will want to make God enough. If our heart is not truly in love with God, then it will be difficult to stick with him and obey what he says when life gets tough.
Where is your heart?
May my heart be so far gone in Christ, may I be so in love with God, that nothing else in this life will compare because he and he alone will truly be enough.
May your heart be so far gone in Christ, may you be so in love with God, that nothing else in this life will compare because he and he alone will truly be enough.
There’s a song I’ve been listening to lately that wraps this challenge up perfectly. It’s by Thousand Foot Krutch, and it’s called So Far Gone. A video with lyrics is below.