Things that feel wrong this week include, but are not limited to:
- being so behind on my work emails I could die
- being so behind on laundry and house stuff that my house is really effecting my sense of peace
- being unable to control people and make them do what I want
By God’s grace, I fought through to read Romans this morning and learned that God’s saving grace plays out in a variety of ways, one of which is refusing to let us bow to other gods.
He is constantly at all times working to display the evidence of His love: that He will keep us from bowing to other gods.
Today I want to be saved from the anxiety in my spirit. And here’s who I want to call savior: a few hours of efficiency, a clean house, being in control of people around me. But God, in His great grace has denied me those things, forcing me to turn to the only real Savior: Him.
There are days where I get to be efficient and my house is clean and people do what I want. But, in the days when none of those things are happening I get the opportunity to learn who is my real Savior, my real God.
So praise God for days with obstacles. Praise God for every barrier between us and the things we feel like will save us because each seeming obstacle is evidence of His love.
Ironically, Satan points at those barriers and whispers that these obstacles should cause us to doubt God’s love.
God won’t give you what you want? It must be that He doesn’t love you.
If He loved you surely he would give you a spouse to save you from loneliness. He would give you a child to give you purpose. He would give you success at work, or friends who fail less or someone who can make you feel safe and secure and loved.
Listen to the root of those lies: If God loved us He would give us lesser gods.
Get behind me, Satan.
Today, God is doing what He must to keep us from bowing to another god. For some of us that plays out in singleness. For some of us it plays out in a marriage that is less than satisfying. Some of us today will wake up in a world where we learn our spouse has been unfaithful. Some of us will lose someone we love, lose the job we want, miss the bus or miss a meeting.
And for all of us, the purpose is the same: God is giving us the fruit of His saving gracious election: He is doing what it takes to keep us from bowing to another god.
Worshipping God with my church last week we sang these words:
Seal my heart for your courts above
I want that. I want my heart to be sealed for Him alone; to be His alone.
But I’m prone to give it to any shiny object that passes in front of me. So I prayed that lyric as I was singing, and in my heart I felt a rare and sobering weight in that prayer:
God, seal my heart for you alone. Don’t let me give it to another god. Even if that means that I’m praying right now for singleness forever. Even if these words mean a life lived without a spouse, without children. Even if these words mean that I never get to write or teach. Even if these words mean friends betraying me and co-workers hating me.
That’s not a small prayer for me, and most days my flesh adds an asterisk, making sure God isn’t confused.
But He’s never confused. And He doesn’t need an interpreter for a prayer that can only be in me because of the intercession of His Spirit by His blood in the first place.
So, if you dare, pray that today. Let all the obstacles between you and the things you want today – let those be proof of God’s electing love, keeping your heart for Him alone.