Do you have a longing so great for more of God, yet you cannot seem to get loose from your ties to the world? I have run across this dilemma many times. I so desire for a deep, lasting relationship with God but there is so much of me still in the world that I have a difficult time giving myself over 100% to my relationship with God. I love God so much, but I get caught up in all the “stuff” of the world and this keeps me from seeking God fully.
I remember once when I was young that I wanted to go swimming in the worst way. Only one problem, we didn’t have a pool. I was frustrated, and it had recently rained so I decided to go swimming in the puddles in our driveway. I played in those puddles for a long time, all the while pretending they were a pool. Isn’t our relationship with God sometimes like playing in the puddles? We long for God, to hear His voice and yet, we play around in the world, all the while pretending that we are content with where we are with God. We ask the question “How much of the world can I cling to and still have a deep relationship with God? The answer…none of it.
Scripture clearly says in 1 John 2:15
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”
That is pretty black and white. Love the world, do not love the Father. So, any loyalty we have to the things of this world separates us from the love of God. So how do we get ourselves out of this world and closer to God? Well, first we must set our affections on the right thing. Many, including myself, are attached to things of this world. I like stuff and there is nothing wrong with having stuff, but are you putting too much emphasis on these things? We need to replace our love of stuff with the love of God. God needs to be our contentment, our thrill, our true love.
I find that what I spend most of my time doing is what is taking the place of God in my life. It turns into an idol. Now how to identify and remove idols from our lives is for a different post but the point I want to drive home is that we spend too much time playing in the world and trying to have a relationship with God. The two cannot be intertwined. We must separate from the world and devote ourselves to nurturing our relationship with Jesus. The more we invest in our relationship with Jesus, the less of the world we will desire. And one day we will realize that the world holds no attraction for us any longer. We will stop playing in the puddles and we will realize the refreshment of swimming in the pool!!