“Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths. They made them walk in byways, on roads not built up.” Jeremiah 18:15 NIV
You’d think if someone had rescued you from slavery, shown you a myriad of miracles, provided food and water for you in the desert, led you into new territories, helped you win countless battles and been present with you through the tough times and the good, that you would be hard pressed to forget them.
Yet this is exactly what the Israelites did to God. Now read that first paragraph again, thinking of yourself. Isn’t this also what we do to the Lord? He has given us salvation, miracles, provision, protection and help more times than we even know, and yet, is he the One before whom we set our praise? Or do other idols get more of our time and devotion? Is our work, our family, our money, our social life, our standing, bigger than God in our hearts?
It is never a bad idea to go into prayer asking these questions honestly of ourselves. There is invariably something that we have set up as a false idol, even if it is a skewed idea of God himself. Love must be our centre, our focal point, the fulcrum of all we do and live and believe.
It is oh so easy to fall away from that centre, to become engrossed or distracted by problems, circumstances, entertainments. But I do encourage us all to keep turning our faces and our worship, and perhaps particularly our gratitude, back to the Lord of all, who is the keeper and knower of our hearts, the maker and centre of our universe, the King of wonder and awe, the fount of all loving mercy. For there is nothing worth setting up before or ahead of him, and we do ourselves an injury every time we forget his glorious goodness.
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