Friday, January 15, 2016
With the exception of those with huge congregations, most pastors counsel with their members from time to time about certain personal issues in their lives. A matter which comes up often is one involving a strained or broken relationship, particularly marriage. In almost every case, the distraught person who requests the counseling is desperately intent on saving his or her relationship because they feel they just cannot live without the one who has left. Almost everyone has similar relationship problems at one time or another but many have a faith in God which is strong enough to give them hope, comfort, and the assurance that He will help them. Sadly, there are many people around, including Christians, who are overly dependent on a spouse, family member, or friend and although they won’t always see it nor admit it, they are committing spiritual idolatry because a human being has become more important in their life than God.
One of my biggest fears in life is failing God and it’s not because I fear His punishment but rather that I will disappoint Him. Unfortunately, in the case of many people, Christians included, their fear of failing a certain person in their life is greater than their fear of failing the Lord. That too, is idolatry. If our every breath is dependent upon our Heavenly Father, why should a mere person in this life evoke such devotion?
All of us have one or several people in our lives whose departure would crush us. Still, we should have been aware from the beginning that all of us are here on loan. Just as sure as we are here today, any one of us could be gone tomorrow. James 4:14 tells us: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” But Christ’s victory over death has assured us that the loss of our loved ones in Christ is temporary and further assures us that we will be reunited in glory, never to be separated again. Anyone who can do all that for us deserves to have first place in our lives. Only the Lord deserves all our praise, honor and glory. By way of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord said from a long time ago:“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Is. 42:8) God does not change! He still does not like for us to love or depend on others more than Him. May we never again believe that we just cannot do without certain people in our lives. We can love and appreciate them, but lets be careful not to elevate them to God’s level.
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 13:8) “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”