Saturday, August 11, 2018

Pushing God Away - Martin Wiles

But you thought you could get along without me. Ezekiel 16:15 NLT

“I can’t wait until I turn eighteen so I can get out of this house and do what I want to do.”

How many times I said that to my parents, I’m not sure, but it was enough that the statement is indelibly inscribed in my memory. I loved them, but I didn’t love their rules. Looking back, the rules weren’t unreasonable. My state of mind just made them seem so. Rebellion, obstinacy, and selfishness ruled my life. I wanted to be on my own, thinking I’d have no one to answer to. Foolish of me to think that—and I soon found out I would always have someone to answer to. I pushed my parents away, thinking I didn’t need them, their protection, their love, or their presence.

God accused His people of doing the same thing. Comparing Himself to someone who found them kicking in their newborn blood and rescued them, He reminds them of how He loved them and cared for their every need. When they were old enough, He married them, but they rewarded His faithfulness with unfaithfulness. They played the prostitute every time they had a chance with the pagan nations who lived around them—pushing Him away as if He were unimportant and had done nothing for them.

Pushing God aside isn’t always an act of rebellion or hate. Sometimes it just happens because my focus is elsewhere. Hovering over my children more than I should instead of letting them learn independence and responsibility. Spending more time than I should trying to climb the career ladder. Giving a hobby more time than it deserves. Doing anything that brings me pleasure. Or using my money unwisely by buying too many play toys.

Nothing will fill the void that only God designed Himself to occupy. I need spiritual wisdom to live life successfully. Only He can give it. As Adam and Eve walked and talked with Him in the cool of the garden, so I need to spend time with Him daily. Otherwise, I’ll find myself traveling in unwise directions.

God gives people the free will to push Him away, but we’ll never find peace if we do. The joy and peace I thought I’d have when I left home didn’t materialize until I re-established a relationship with my parents.

Don’t push God away. Invite Him into every aspect of your life.

Prayer: Father, may we see the need for making You a part of every detail of our lives. 

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