Monday, March 15, 2010

Squeezing God Out

"Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves." (Amos 2:13)

"You've put everything else on top of me, so I'm pushed to the bottom of your priorities." That's what God is saying to His people. Beginning in verse six of this second chapter of Amos, Israel is condemned for allowing commercialism and the quest for prosperity to steal their hearts from the God who brought them out of Egypt to the land of promise (v.10). But I am very much afraid this same accusation of misplaced priorities could also be leveled at some of us who name the name of Christ.

The more (and better) you and I serve the Lord, the more we are susceptible to the temptation of allowing our labor of love to become an end in itself; and when that happens, the labor can quickly squeeze out the love. In the morning, we grab our "to-do" list before we grab our Bible. God becomes the recipient of our service, not the motivation. Then, finally, He is no longer the recipient, and His praise is no longer our goal. In short, our lives can be so heavy with well-intentioned (and well-executed) service that God Himself is "pressed" down (I say this reverently) to "low man on the totem pole."

When what we're doing for God becomes more important than God, what we're doing is no longer important.

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