As much as I would like to say that there is nothing above God in my life, I cannot. I fail miserably each and every day in giving Him first place.
So what kind of things do I place ahead of Him?
Sinful Thoughts and Actions
Preoccupation with Worldly Things
I was hit full force with this realization as I reached for my phone and my Bible this morning. I am in a Bible study of 1 & 2 Kings on my First 5 app. (Go to first5.org to check out this wonderful study tool from Proverbs 31 Ministries.)
As I clicked on the app, I thought, “I’m going to hurry through this and check out my social media apps and see what’s happening today.”
Then I read the scripture from 1 Kings chapter 16. The entire chapter is about God’s people choosing everyone and everything over God. I thought, “Don’t you people ever learn?”
And then God’s still small voice said, “But Sandy, do you?”
Whitney Capps wrote the commentary on 1 Kings 16. This is profound: Self is a terrible king.
What do we relinquish when we make ourselves king of our lives? We trade God’s riches which are great blessings for the paltry things we collect in the physical realm. We trade His omnipotence for the measly strength we can muster. We trade His omniscience for narrow-minded, short-sighted, limited wisdom of our own brains. We trade peace that passes understanding for fear, hopelessness, and uncertainty.
I am married to the world’s biggest baseball fan. Something happened the year we were married that I’ll never forget. In 1987, the Detroit Tigers baseball organization traded up-and-coming pitcher Greg Smoltz to the Atlanta Braves for Alexander Doyle. While Doyle did help Detroit get to the postseason games, he was sidelined in a play and never fully recovered, eventually retiring in 1989. John Smoltz went on to team up with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and their “triple threat” pitching for the Braves is legendary.
In the end, it was a wonderful trade for Atlanta but not so much for Detroit. While no one could have predicted what happened to Doyle in postseason play, we can be certain of what will happen in our lives when we replace God with self.
Whitney closes her commentary with this:
When we dethrone God, we set ourselves on a path to hard times. It might not look like it now, but the spiral is coming and like this chapter, it will be hard to get through. I want to learn Israel’s lesson. I know my heart, and I know just how selfish I can be. I can’t be trusted with a throne, but He can.
I’m making a new effort starting now to insure that God is the rightful King of my heart.