This topic is really important to me lately, so please allow me the slight rabbit trail from writing advice (hey, it's Easter week, so rabbits are allowed ::wink::) and let the Lord prick your heart a moment like He's been doing to mine.
In Sunday School the past few weeks, we've been discussing a lot of Old Testament events, such as Moses and the 10 commandments, Joshua taking over the leadership of the Israelites after Moses' death and leading them into the Promised Land, Rahab the Harlot who helped save the day, and Judge Deborah who commanded an entire army and won a major battle with the Lord's help (go girl!)
One thing that keeps coming up over and over is how the Israelites kept turning away from God and worshipping idols. At first, our class was just in shock. "How could they do that after they saw what God had done?" We asked. We thought it was absolutely nuts and they were all pretty stupid, to be honest, for SEEING firsthand how God parted the Red Sea, and provided BREAD from the SKY for them, and appeared in fire and clouds, and on and on - yet they could brush that off and worship a little statue that didn't even move or breathe?? Come on!
We would NEVER do that, we thought. I would never do that, I thought.
But we do. And I have. So have you.
Sitting in church last Sunday, it hit me. We all do it! Think about it. How many times have you experienced God in a "mountain top" way? How many times have you felt His presence so clearly during a worship song or at youth camp? Seen His hand of provision when you had a dire need financially or emotionally? How many times have you gotten in the car and the Christian song you most needed to hear was playing at that very moment? How many times did a letter or phone call or text or email from a friend come at just the right time to encourage you?
That was God parting your Red Sea. That was God appearing by fire at night and cloud by day. That was God giving you manna from Heaven at just the right moment, for your specific need.
Yet how many times do we turn from those moments of clarity and faith and seek after material possessions? Guys? (or girls)? Affection? Approval? Friendships or relationships that aren't good for us? Success? The next book contract? The next book review?
It's all the time, isn't it?
We're not so different than the Israelites after all. Not really.
This Easter season, please let this settle in your hearts for a bit. Ponder it. Mull it over. Let God work in you and show you where you need to let go and where you need to hold on. Ask God to forgive you for where you've failed, and help you to be stronger in whichever areas you find you are weak. Not in your power, but in HIS.
Let's not let another day go by where we bow down to an idol instead of God. Think of the power He has ready to pour through us when we get right - pour through your writing and your goals and your dreams. Your dreams aren't sin. It's how we pursue them that can lead to it. Don't let your writing or other dreams become an idol. And you guys, I'm preaching to the choir. This is a regular struggle for most Christian authors I am close to. It's not just you, you aren't alone. Pride bites EVERYONE in the booty. So bite back in Jesus' name!
This Easter, remember the Israelites. Remember how stubborn and blind they were. Don't judge them, but learn from them.
And worship the risen Christ and Him alone.