Thursday, February 13, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 55: Fruitless Endeavors

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 55, February 13, 2014
Readings: Psalm 55, Genesis 50:1-14, 2 Chronicles 28, Acts 21:17-40, Acts 22, Acts 23:1-11

Have you ever heard the saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results?"

Humanity seems to be insane. Not the clinically diagnosed, mental disability kind of insane. But if we believe the words above, yes, humanity is prone to insanity. I think of how many people rely on idols, personal gods if you will, that can never fulfill their needs. The relentless chasing of wealth, of security, of our children's happiness, of our own has never resulted in true peace. True joy. In fact, it often results in more pain and suffering.

In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the LORD - this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, "Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me." But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. In every city of Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the LORD, the God of his fathers. (2 Chronicles 28:22-25)

Ahaz experienced the same problem. He saw what others had - victory over other nations, and wanted that same power. But rather than recognizing that he was the problem, he just kept on trying to live the same way that he always had lived, kept trying to appease this god or that god, like a leaf on the wind.

What would this look like in your life? For me, it's when I just think about "if I only had this thing or that thing, if I had more money, if I was more satisfied..." Yet for all my chasing after money or things, I end up worse off. Having more money or things isn't going to make me happy, isn't going to improve my relationship with my wife or kids. It might sound like a good idea for a while, but it never lasts.

In fact, when I'm focused on things, instead of God, I often find myself scattered, just like Ahaz. He created so many idols, hoping to appease the right "god," that he missed the one God that actually matters. And if I'm always looking for the right answer to a problem, instead of looking to the answer to everything, I'm going to miss it all.

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