Part One.

Anything outside of Heaven that becomes the object of your affection will eventually become the object of your sorrow.”
– The Reverend Steve N. Donley

And as par for the course, Steve’s comments left me pondering deeper issues. That’s one of his best qualities. You won’t ever walk away from him thinking about lint. Coupled with Steve’s ability to ignite thought is my proclivity for peeling away layers until I think I understand the core of an issue. And here is my take on tonight’s discussion.

We are more concerned with our own worship than God’s.

Our treasures are most often spent on ourselves because that is where our hearts are focused. We are so desperate to be seen as worthy that we forget that our very essence, our soul purpose is to show the world how worthy He is. In fact, we aren’t even all that concerned about actually being worthy. Just fooling people is balm enough to soothe our fragile egos. For a while. Eventually our shiny new toys loose their luster, and we are left scrambling for a new way to feed our appetite for glory. And in the end, all of the measures we take end as nothing but chariots and horses. And we run after these things with everything we have. We think about them, plan for them and when things doesn’t turn out the way we want, we are angry at God and we hate ourselves. We wonder how a God who claims to be love could leave us so unsatisfied.

But it is out of His great love and mercy for us that He refuses to feed our addiction to self. He sees our self-exalting dreams as our death. It is His goodness that withholds.

We weren’t meant to be worshipped. And anything operating outside of God’s design always ends in death and destruction. As objects of our greatest affection, we become our own greatest sorrow.

To be continued…

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5 Responses to Part One.

  1. amy says:

    extremely well said. you took the words right out of my heart. not out of my mouth, ’cause i could have never worded it so eloquently. praise God He got our attention last night. here’s to spiritual and intellectual growth…

  2. amy says:

    and here’s to His Glory.

  3. John the Henderson says:

    Hmm…. So I’m pondering too now. I agree if anything becomes THE object of your affection, as in the main one, you are headed for pain. I also agree that we aren’t made to be worshiped. Here is my question though, I wish this was on Steve’s blog so he could comment on his own quote. I could sit here for an hour and count pleasures that God has given with the intent being for us to enjoy them. So how does one practice deliberate enjoyment of gifts for the glory of God without becoming idolatrous? And how do we deal with the lack of certain gifts without turning into Christian-budhists (swearing off all attachments except Christ)?

    Also we weren’t made to be worshiped but one of our intended roles was for us to be loved, cared for, and honestly lavished over. Thats how God treats us so we cant exactly protest and say its not right for us to be and enjoy being treated that way can we? God didn’t create us in a vacuum and He didn’t create all other joys as temptation, it is only our bent nature that abuses. So….. How do we honor the fact that we were made to love and be loved by things other than the divine while still honoring God as the supreme Love?

  4. Shawn says:

    The most basic question which God poses to each human heart: Has something or someone besides Jesus the Christ taken title to your heart’s functional trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight? More Questions that bring some of people’s idols to the surface:
    To who or what do you look for life-sustaining stability, security and acceptance?
    What do you really want and expect out of life?
    What would really make you happy?
    What would make you an acceptable person?
    Where do you look for power and success?

    These questions or similar ones tease out whether we serve God or idols, whether we look for salvation from Christ or from false saviors. This bears on the immediate motivation of my behavior, thoughts, feelings. In the Bible, the motivation question is the lordship question: Who or what rules my behavior, the Lord or an idol?

    For more read Idols of the Heart and “Vanity Fair” by David Powlison

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