We Need Reminders of God’s Faithfulness

Reminders of God's Faithfulness | Ebenezer

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shenand called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.” —1 Samuel 7:12

Lately, I’ve felt far from God. Just disconnected and removed. I can’t pinpoint an actual event that sparked it, but I will say in the “departments” of money, budget, job growth/security, church life, and family members, etc., I haven’t known what God’s been up to for many years.

In 2010, our church closed, which was devastating to us. To this day, we mourn its loss. In 2012, my mother died—a painful absence which I feel every single day. I hate thinking I’ll be having to do life without her for 40ish more years.

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I Belong

God’s been dealing with me lately about the idols of my heart—those things that I tend to value more than him. Those things that tend to thrill my soul when all is going “right.” And those things that tend to send me to the pit of depression when all is going “wrong.” 
I suppose that this self-examination may not make sense to one who is not a Christian, since you probably assign “good” things the attribute of “good” (a new job is “good”; a new baby is “good”) and “bad” things the attribute of “bad,” right (losing one’s job is “bad”; experiencing a miscarriage is “bad”)? But in your heart of hearts can you admit that even the “good” things—even when they are cranked up to the highest level—don’t ultimately satisfy? 
That restless longing is because we were created for more than a superficial affection for “stuff.” We were created for communion. And the only way to experience that true, eternal communion is by devotedly loving Jesus.
I belong to Christ. I am his. And since I am his, he doesn’t tolerate being second or third on the list of my interests. No. He commands first place. When I deny him his rightful claims on my life and chase after empty idols, I’m left broken, confused, and exhausted. 
What does this look like in my life? 
I desire comfort and security more than trusting in Christ. I desire accolades and recognition more than glorifying God. I desire equity and self-preservation more than following God through a wilderness experience.
 
But the Bible tells me over and over that the Christian life is one of ownership, discipleship, sacrifice, and service. Because I belong, I am required to confront those things in my life that cause my heart to wander. Because I belong, I am required to love Christ more than any other earthly thing. Because I belong, I am required to deny my will and embrace God’s will. 
As my pursuit of Christ intensifies, my pursuit of idols will lessen in its attraction. As my hunger for God deepens, “empty calories” will make me sick to my stomach. 
And that peace of God—the peace that passes all understanding—will guard, strengthen, and preserve me because 
“I am not my own, but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”
—from the Heidelberg Catechism, Answer #1
If you want to read more about this topic, I recommend Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick. It is an excellent study!  (Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and do receive a small commission from sales I recommend.)

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