Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Seeking God/Sending a Substitute

Today for my devotions I read Proverbs 26. I'm ashamed to admit that it's been a while since I've spent time with God. I mean truly spend time with Him. Too long. Sure, I've read the Bible but my heart wasn't in it. Many times when I go to God, it's not really me, I send a substitute. That imaginary person that we send to do things that we don't want to do. Like when we don't feel like going to church or spending time with that member that you're not really good friends with, we send the fake person. The nice person, not the real you. And though you're there physically, in reality, you're somewhere else. Somewhere else you'd rather be.

I'm trying to learn the importance of being there. And in that I've learned the importance of seeking God. Yeah, I know it sounds stupid and trite, but it seems like I never learn this lesson. One of the first verses we learn as a child, "Seek Ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." So why do I have such a problem with it?

Maybe I just like to wallow in my own self-pity. Recently things have been a little discouraging at church. I've been criticized, people stand in groups to talk about me and go out of their way to let me know I'm not someone they like or respect.

So what did I do? Did I seek God? Did I take comfort in His Word that I'm not alone? No, I wallowed in my own discouragement. I spent time doing other things to take my mind off of it. I did everything but seek Him, just like we all do.

Why? I think many times it's academic. Some people don't like to read. Reading anything, let alone the Bible, becomes a chore. Some people don't like to stop or sit still for too long. Impatient. It's hard to pray when you're like that. But doing that makes spending time with God a chore and not a relationship. Seeking Him isn't about fulfilling a to-do list. If you read His Word and pray and still walk away not any closer to Him, you haven't truly spent time with Him. You sent a substitute.

So for my devotions today is Proverbs 26. God answered my self-pity with a word about those who hate you.

Proverbs 26:24 - 26

He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself;
When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart;
Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

It would have been nice if I would have read that a few weeks ago.


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