Over the last two weeks we have been looking at an article by Pastor Albert Tate that deals with our “Disappointments with God”. The premise is simply this: When we petition our Heavenly Father, and the heavens are silent, we want to know why God has disappeared. Where has He gone? Why is He silent? Why do my prayers go unanswered?
So in our disappointment with an “unresponsive God” we seek to replace Him. We reach out for something familiar, something we believe we can control and is responsive to our needs of the moment. Last week we mentioned that it is typical for some of us to reach out to the idol of money because it provides us with “security”. It is also consistent with our idolatrous behavior to seek out something like pornography because we long for “intimacy”.
This week Pastor Tate suggests two other idols humankind reaches for to replace God:
3. Relationships: We jump from one to another, but what we’re longing for is someone to complete us. In truth, only Jesus can make us whole. If you look for completion in another person, when they leave you’re left in pieces. Jesus is the only one who will never leave nor forsake us. When you invest the energy you would have spent chasing relationships into pursuing Him, you’ll be a much better spouse, much better parent, and a more complete person.
4. Control: You may not call it control. You may call it being organized, having a plan, sticking to a schedule. But trust us, everyone around you is calling you a control freak. We reach for control when we’re longing for peace, but it rarely works out that way. If you reach for control, people are stressed when they’re around you. You don’t bring peace. You don’t feel it either. God’s peace doesn’t rely on your ability to keep your life together. His peace is strongest in the midst of chaos. It’s only then that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
What do we do with a disobedient God?
So how do we shake that desire to reach for an idol we can control? How do we live with what we consider a disobedient God? How do we transition from reaching for the things of the world to reaching for God?
GET IN HIS PRESENCE! – Just reach for Him. In the presence of the one true God, the failures, the shame, the guilt…it doesn’t matter. When you are in the presence of the creator of all things, the things of the world fade away and you are consumed by His splendor.
What do we do with a disobedient God? You wait on Him. You trust Him. You meet with Him. You dwell with Him. You allow yourself to be changed by His presence and become more like Him. You stop reaching for the things of the world and reach for Him instead.
When God seems disobedient, distant, or silent, reach for Him. Reject the idols of the world and reach for Him instead. If you seek Him…you WILL find Him. Only in Him can we find peace in the storm. Consider why Jesus could sleep in the boat when the disciples were convinced that they were going to die!