So we were talking about obedience; and we were talking about ‘building your house on the sand’ as a metaphor for ‘basing our lives on principles and practices that shift and change’. We should touch on another aspect of this obedience. If, as we alluded to earlier, obedience is about doing what God tells us to do; then what about the First of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt have no other gods before (besides) Me.” We’re back to that question about who or what do we worship (or serve)? Who do we really trust? Who do we really turn to when we’re in dire straits with nowhere to turn?
Well, I’m good about saying that ultimately I trust God; not my job, nor my employer, nor my network of friends and relatives, nor my piddly bank account or my credit cards. But do I really? I say that; but every time I get in a bind, I’m steadily calculating where I’m going to go to stay afloat for another few days or weeks. Funny thing is; usually something “falls out of the sky” that I was completely not expecting, so clearly that it just had to be God. It’s happened over and over so often that I just can’t deny that God really has delivered me from evil or destruction or punishment when I didn’t deserve to be delivered. God’s mercy. (You know ‘mercy’: that’s when God loves you and takes care of you, even when you deserve to be punished.)
Problem is, we all have been in that position, when to our logical mind it looks like there is a logical man-made explanation for how we got out of that trap; and we don’t give the credit to God. Somebody comes by and says, “You know that just couldn’t be God; that was your boss, or your rich uncle, or just the luck of the draw.” And the sad thing is we let it slide and agree by omission. We don’t say, “You may think that, but I know it was God.” Just so you’ll know, nobody else may think a thing about it, but God didn’t miss it. The true miracle is that God still loves me (and you) anyway. Some people go for years, running in the bushes, worshipping those idols of ‘other stuff’ taking care of them, growing more and more calcified in their position of trusting something else besides God, acknowledging something else besides God is our real god. (Often it’s our selves.) The really sad part is that we’re not only worshipping idols, but we’re getting more and more used to trusting in “the house on the sand”; getting closer and closer to the time of ‘great was the fall of it”. That’s dis-obedience and the fruits (the results) of disobedience all rolled into one.
In case somebody didn’t get it; trusting in something else besides God to take care of you is not only 1] building your house on the sand (basing your life on shifting, shaky stuff); but it’s also 2] worshipping idols; serving other gods than the One True God. That’s disobedience of the first order. That’s the exact definition of what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Everyone who hears My words, and does NOT do them is like a foolish man . . .” Only an idiot would do that. I guess if you want you can join me as a ‘recovering’ idiot. You know, like members of AA talk about being a ‘recovering alcoholic’. We never completely grow out of it. We have to get up every morning, turn ourselves over to God and say, “One more time Lord, I’m turning myself over to You; I’m dying to myself so You can live Your eternal life in me. I love You.” From Out o’th’ Bushes, © 2016, by Tex Tonroy