You know when you hear certain verses that you have heard over and over, so you kinda listen to them with one ear open?
The thinking is, “well, if that scripture DID apply to me, I would’ve noticed it the first time.”
Not always the case.
I was reading in my Bible tonight when I had a huge heartcheck, one of those moments where Jesus just says to you, “oh no, go back and read that line. Listen to my truth.”
So…I went back.
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” –Matthew 4:8-10
My heart deeply caught on that verse, “and him only shall you serve.” I repeated it over and over again.
Of course, I serve only one God, right? Why am I feeling this conviction in my Spirit?
Jesus, I love you, you know that, I thought to myself.
And in the stillness of that moment, I heart Him so clearly say to me, “Yes but you so easily let worry steal your focus. I want to be the center of everything you do and say.”
I mean, straight up caught and no where to hide.
You see, I have read that scripture over and over again but I really read it this time. I let the truth marinate into my mind and permeate into my heart.
Whom do I serve?
What is the focus of my thoughts? Or the purpose of my actions?
Is it pleasing Jesus?
I would love to say yes, but often times, that’s not the case.
Idols do not have to be people, in fact, most often times, they aren’t.
It can be worry that steals your joy and consumes your mind.
Or fear of the unknown that keeps your head between the pages of your planner and your mind attached to your ever-ringing, dadgum iphone that is SYNCED TO YOUR ICALENDAR.
Or maybe enhancing your appearance is the motivating point behind every daily decision.
Or maybe you wake up, go to bed and spend every moment in between terribly afraid that you will be a failure.
You don’t have to be clinically depressed or insane to think these thoughts.
You have to be human. And sad news, you are.
But the good news is that this issue is one that deals completely with the heart. And fortunately for us, we have direct contact with the one who made our hearts.
That worry? He sees the root of it. And yet He says, “surrender it.”
That financial burden? He knows the implications of it. And yet He says, “trust me.”
Those self-criticizing thoughts that violently attack your mind before you even place your feet on the floor? He saw them filing in one by one. And yet He says, “Focus on Me, just Me.”
God isn’t a jealous God because He doesn’t know how to get your attention. He created fire, wind and rain. Believe me, He surely knows how to get your attention. (hellur, burning bush, parting the red sea and rising from the dead).
He is a jealous God because He knows when you place higher priority on the creations of this world or the pressures of this place, your peace of mind seems distant and worry begins to cloud your focus.
He longs for you to experience freedom. He longs for you to be in such rich intimacy with Him that when Satan’s lies try to topple your fortress of trust with Jesus, they are a mere knock at the door that simply goes ignored. Just ain’t worth your attention!
Ask yourself this question: What is the focus of your thoughts? The purpose behind your actions? The central motivating factor behind the decisions you make?
Be honest with yourself. Is it Jesus?
“And Him only you shall serve”….
Do like Jesus did. When Satan tempts you to bow to him in one form or another this week, respond with a big, “BE GONE, SATAN!”
Aka come at me bro, I got Jesus.