I’ve always thought that we should only serve one God and we should not have idols. God should be number one in our lives. I had thought those possible idols would be other people or work or hobbies, somebody or something else than me. But then I read this from Isaiah:
“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
(Isaiah 58:3, NRSV)
If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,
from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;
if you call the sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
(Isaiah 58:13-14, NRSV)
Do you see? We are our own idols. Me, mine, myself are on our agenda. We want God to serve us, bless us, take care of us but according to our whims, not according to his will.
We serve our own interest all day long and wonder why God is silent.
We pursue our own affairs and wonder why God feels distant.
We go our own ways and wonder why everything is not going well.
Lord, have mercy!
The Christian way of life is not self-serving but God-serving. It contradicts all of our selfish wants and desires. Are we ever able to live like that? Only by God’s grace. On our own we can not serve anybody else but ourselves. But this is exactly why God sent Jesus to die on the cross.
When we surrender our egos, God will pour out grace upon grace. When we let our Selves die on the cross with Christ, God raises our true selves from death with Christ. Hence We don’t capitalize our selves anymore (Not Self but self), but God. He is the author of life and all the good things. He is God and we are not.
When we submit ourselves to God, he enables us to serve God with everything we’ve got. When we give all the glory to God, he will bless us with his peace. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, he will guide us until the end of the world.
Forgive our selfishness.
Forgive us for pursuing our own interests
even when we think we are not.
We submit ourselves to you.
Pour out grace upon grace!
Empower us to serve only you!
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Q4U: Are you serving your own interests or pursuing God’s will for your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you serve only God!