I recall many a summer days my friends and I laid stretched out on the beach getting a tan. We spent hours and hours trying to attract the sun to our skin. We even put baby oil on to catch those rays. My friends teased saying we were going "sun worshipping."
It was true that we spent most of our days at the beach. It was what was most important to me as a young woman of the world. It is what I devoted myself to. Sounds silly doesn't it? But if I take a closer look at what motivated me to behave in such a way, it was pride. It was pride in myself.
One of the key steps of Christian growth is learning... yes I said learning, to put God over yourself and everything else in your life. You may gasp at the thought of you, being a Christian, could fall into such a thing. "Not me...never!" My spiritual siblings, I challenge you to inspect your lives to really see if this is true.
For instance, God's word says, "So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matt. 6 :31-33
Are you "running after" "things?" Its so easy in today's world, especially as Americans. We want to have the latest electronics, the name brand clothes. We want fancy food served to us in nice restaurants. Don't get me wrong, in and of themselves these are not bad things. However, if we lose focus of God and make doing those things what is important, they become idols in our lives. Idols are things that we worship apart from God. Idols are things that our hearts long for. When the only thing our hearts need long for, when they are sold out for Jesus, is Jesus!
Sometimes the enemy uses his slight of hand to attempt to lead you away from God. The enemy is very subtle at this trick, but very well versed in doing it. It was the very thing that got him kicked out of heaven! Satan put himself above God. The LAST thing the enemy wants is hearts that are purely devoted to Jesus so he will plant weeds in or lives to try and trip us up..
For me, it started with going thrift shopping. I would go once a month to the thrift store. Slowly over time my trips became more frequent. Every time I did anything, I "needed" a new outfit to wear. So I went to Salvation Army or Savers to find one. I only spent like 20. at first. But as time went on and my visits became more frequent, they also became more costly. The Lord revealed to me that I had made thrift shopping an idol in my life. God spoke to me in His word, He said, " Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.' Matt 6:19-21
So recently I went through all my clothes, shoes and pocketbooks and recycled them at Gates of Hope. I only kept what I truly needed. I even made sure I gave away some of my favorite things. Because , you know what? God gave away His favorite person, Jesus, to save me. Nothing will compete with my affection and love for the Lord, not people, not things, nothing!
I had a talk with God about my behavior, asked His forgiveness and I have turned away from it.
My only goal in confessing this sin, to you, is to ask for prayer and to hopefully help someone out there who may be struggling, be it with clothes or food, or even a person. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He reigns always and forever in us.
"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands."