Be Careful What You Run To
Almost every man has heard the saying, “When the going get’s tough, the tough get going.” But my question is, “Where do the tough go?” Most men I know usually “go” to their cave (seclusion), their “boy(s),” their vice (medication), their work/job, their “spot,” or their “girl.” Even fewer men I know “go” to their Bible, the Holy Spirit, their spiritual brother in Christ, or their prayer closet. The truth of the matter is, we all go somewhere when the going gets tough.
God commands us in Deuteronomy 5:7: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” When I first learned the Ten Commandments, I must be honest: I thought this was one of the easier commandments to keep. After giving my life to Christ as a child and rededicating my life to Christ as an adult, my attitude was: “Why would any Believer ever put anything or anyone before God.” As I look back at my life, I now think, “Man, I sure was naive.” I had no idea how easy it was to stumble in this area.
In fact, I’ve come to realize that no matter how “Christian” or “righteous” we think we are, little “gods” are always competing to take the position only God wants to occupy in our lives.
Here’s the truth, at least from my own personal experience: everything we think, everything we say, and everything we do reveals what we believe, who we believe, and who we choose to serve. Let that sink in for just a minute.
This reality isn’t more evident than when we face a crisis or “storm” in our lives (i.e., when the going gets tough). If you ever want to expose the true “god” in your life, just ask yourself this question, Who or what do I run to or run after when things in my life get ‘out of control’? Is it God or is it something or someone else? Whatever IT is, if it’s anything other than God and His word, it’s a “god” that needs to be put back in its proper place or possibly destroyed.
Just ask yourself:
- What do you think about when things in your life don’t make sense?
- What do you say to yourself and others when things fail to go your way?
- Who’s interest do you seek to preserve and protect when your world starts to collapse around you?
As for me personally, I would love to say, “I always run to God for answers; I always look to God to pick me up whenever I fall or fail; I always seek God’s will over my personal wants and desires.” Unfortunately, that’s just isn’t the case.
However, even in those times when I don’t “run to” God, I’m able to see the blessing in my imperfections. Because it’s during those times of crisis, storms, confusion, failure, and collapse, God uses the Holy Spirit to reveal and expose the idols in my life. And for that I’m thankful. The question is have you allowed God to use the “tough times” to reveal and expose the idols in your life?
It’s like I always tell my children, “Be encouraged, because the best time in life to do the right thing is always right now.” So “real” man of God, join me in this prayer as we cast down our idols and restore God to His rightful place in our lives and in our hearts.
MY PRAYER: Dear God, you said that we will find you if we seek you with all of our heart. But I can’t find you unless I’m walking in Your direction. So reveal to me who and what I’m running after other than You. Expose whatever it is I’m seeking in others and things that I will only find in You. No false god can ever save me, sanctify me, and satisfy me the way You do. Forgive me for choosing and pursuing the wrong gods. Help me not only turn away from false gods, but to destroy them if necessary. Expose their uselessness to me and allow me to see them for what they really are – a false promise of security, hope, comfort, relief, joy, and fulfillment. May you continue to supply ALL my needs according to Your riches and glory. Amen.
Your Study Verse: You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. – Deuteronomy 5:7-10
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