Thursday, May 23, 2013

What is it we need?

I was blessed to be friends with Horace Hilton. My wife Julie has learned me very quickly and each time someone speaks of Horace I will feel her comforting hand as she gently rubs my back. She knows it produces waves of memory, emotions, and usually tears. The following is one short event Horace shared with me.

He was asked to lead a Bible study in a very affluent neighborhood.  The person that made this request of him offered their house as a meeting place. He agreed to the request but with some stipulations. He expected people to attend regularly, be punctual, and bring their Bible. He was a humble, soft spoken man, but at the same time he would mince no words when he felt the situation called for it.In short he did not want people dropping by when they felt like it. He wanted a commitment.

The Bible study grew quickly and the house was filled for these meetings. He was once asked why it was so successful by someone that could not envision that in all the wealth these people held that they chose to attend a Friday night Bible study.  I have never forgot his response.

"Because they have everything that you think you need and it is not enough."

Wow. The wisdom and truth behind his words.

Most of us desire financial security. I know that I do. Bigger houses and nicer cars would be good also, right? But regardless of how much of these things we acquire will they bring us peace, comfort, love? We know they won't but yet we desire them just the same. What about that right relationship with that special person? Won't that make us content?

What is it that we really need? 

What price tag does one place on peace? On happiness?

I spent most of my life trying to achieve what I thought I needed and Jesus was always present for me but in the background of my plans. I sought to achieve first and then when my world was right I would turn to him. Trouble is this plan of mine never succeeded.

I have been reading more of the Old Testament of late. The idols that were made of gold and other materials seem silly to most of us I bet. But are they any sillier or less relevant than the idols we place in front of God? Idols don't have to be evil. They are anything we place in front of God.

Our God is indeed a jealous God.  His desire is for us to place him first. To trust him with deciding what is best for us and letting go as I finally did of the foolish notion that I knew what was best for me more so than Him.

You know how when there is something or someone you really want to see but an obstacle impedes us from having a clear view? You tilt your head or move to another position to see clearly but the obstacle remains and all you get is a partial view. I think that is what an idol in our life does. It prevents us from having the full clear view of our Savior. Don't move to another position just remove the idol in front of you.

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