My diet requires no sugar but quite a bit of healthy food. Unfortunately, my taste buds require quite a bit of sugar, and could care less about the healthy stuff. Usually, I can withstand the urge to give in to my demanding taste for sugar because I know the pain I'll be in later. But today was understandably difficult. I decided to make chocolate chip cookies for my family. For those who may not know, cookie dough is a long-time favorite of mine. And while I was placing them on the pan, I began snitching little scoops. As I was about to plop the tenth spoonful of cookie dough in my mouth, my hand mechanically froze in midair directly over my mouth. My eyes, still focusing upward waiting to taste the delightful morsel, dropped and followed my hand back to the bowl. Ooops! Just in the nick of time, my conscience began whispering softly to me, you know you shouldn't be having that...
I rolled my eyes and sighed. I had gotten off easy that time, or so I thought. Seconds later, my conscience decided it wasn't done and gave me another jab. I began to feel convicted that my spiritual life resembled the many nibbles I had taken from the cookie dough. Ouch.
I nibble a little of God's Word here and there, enough to satisfy my craving for Truth. But the nibbles are not enough to satisfy the hunger I should have for God. Tasty little bites every other day is not what God expects of the Christian, nor can I grow in godliness, discernment, and wisdom.. I must study and meditate on what God has written in order to grow in these areas. It must become more than just impromptu bites here and there. Psalm 119:16 says,
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
I had come upon that verse in my devotions, but I pretended to ignore it and move on. But there was my conscience once again poking and prodding me to sit up and take note. I neglect
God's Word more than I read it. Another nice jab to my flesh. Double ouch!
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the New Attitude Conference
. Oh yes, I had a grand time meeting people, worshiping and studying the Bible with fellow believers, but there was a hidden torment within my soul that was equally great that same weekend. As the first worship session started on Saturday night, I was feeling distant towards God and because of this, my worship to Him felt fake. Was I lifting my hands heavenward because 2,999 other people were? I knew something was terribly wrong, but I couldn't put a finger on my problem. Here I was about to spend an incredible weekend listening to inspiring authors and teachers, and I felt estranged from God and everyone else. I knew God was in the Kentucky International Convention Center, it was I who was wandering around in a galaxy far, far away. God wants us to draw near, but how do you bridge a chasm millions of miles wide?
I found a seat among the thousands of others who seemed to be enjoying an intimate communion with God, and I sullenly pleaded with God to remove this distance from me. Lord, I want to draw closer to you this weekend. I want this distance between us to end, this gap to disappear. I want an intimate relationship with you...because I need you more than ever. But why this separation? How did this happen?
Simply because I was neglecting God's Word. It wasn't rocket science. When I fail to spend time in God's Word, my relationship with God becomes distant and joyless. I confessed my sin of neglect and recommitted myself to a daily diet of God's Word. But to let's be real here, it's easy to make a commitment to commune with God daily at a convention with thousands of other worshipers. But would I feel the same urgency and desire when I was back at home?
"The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41Old habits die hard...
Now that I've been home a few weeks, I'd love to report that every day has been a wonderful day of feasting in God's word. I wish I could say that my relationship with God is in tip-top shape, but truthfully it's far from there. I've begun the tedious process of retraining my "old-self" to quit nibbling and spending more time digging deeper into the richness and vastness of who God is through His Word. Just like with the cookie dough, I must resist the temptation to just sneak a nibble of the sweet stuff and neglect the meat. Quick nibbles provide an instant burst of energy, but do nothing for my relationship with God long term.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." -Psalm 34:8
Labels: devotional, musings