Called To Repentance

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62

One thing I’ve learned over the years, and something that I’m continuing to experience in my spiritual walk, is that God uses my idols to break me. It takes a good trial or two for me to recognize what I place my hope in and what my heart worships instead of God. To borrow some words from a friend’s recent blog post, Trials will devastate your idols. While trials are oftentimes painful (or else they wouldn’t be categorized as one), it’s usually a good wake-up call for me to see areas that I need further growth in.

Lately, I’ve realized that I really idolize my relationships with others. It dawned on me that I love my friends more than I love God. I care more about people and I desire a deeper connection with them than I do with my Savior. My schedule revolves around these relationships and I would go as far as sacrificing alone time with God so that I could spend time with people. I could go days without reading God’s Word but I can’t go a few hours without checking out my Instagram feed because I want to be updated and to “stay connected.” Their presence and their words sometimes mean more to me than Scripture. Why go to God alone in prayer when a text message to a friend is faster? Why seek comfort and rest in Christ when I could call up someone and they could encourage me?

The only major problem is that there is no substitute for God because only God can satisfy my soul. My security wasn’t being rooted in my identity as a beloved, adopted daughter of the mighty creator of this universe. Instead, I found my affirmation and purpose through my earthly relationships. I lived for them — and I think I still do.

It sounds pretty ridiculous and silly, but this idol is real. It took some recent events for me to confess that my priorities weren’t in order, and that I needed to repent and seek God to transform my heart. Almost nothing breaks me more than having broken relationships. Strained relationships, lost friendships–they all hurt. A lot. But these pains also point me to the one relationship that matters — to the only One that will never disappoint, never forsake, and is much more faithful than I can ever be. Like the stubborn prodigal child that I am, I might have needed these trials so that I could turn back and run in the right direction. After all, pruning was never intended to be painless. Even the sorrows now are temporary and they have a place in God’s plans for me.

Don’t get me wrong — we are called to love others. This is biblical and important in the Christian walk. In fact, as Christians, we should be known by our love for people. What sets apart the kind of love that we have, though, is that our love for others must derive itself from an overflow love for God, because he is love. Friendships aren’t made to be placed on pedestals and they certainly shouldn’t be valued above a relationship with Christ.

When I was writing up this blog post, I had another browsing tab opened to my About Me page. Everything that I said in there about trials was not only relevant to me now, but it was also encouraging. (Good job, Endora of the past!) Re-reading those lessons learned reminded me of why I chose to name this blog Persevering Joy and why I resumed blogging after years of inactivity.

It all comes down to this: I want my life to glorify God because he is worthy.

Even in the midst of trials, I pray that God would remain the center of my story. I know in my head that these trials are meant to stretch me in order for my faith to increase in vibrancy. They’re all meant for my growth and they’re for my good. I’m definitely fighting to believe in it. At the end of the day, I have hope that through all this testing, I will come out as pure gold.

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3 Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    Great post! This might be one of my favorites. As always, I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in your posts. Good to hear that you remain joyful in the midst of trials. After the worship seminar, I’ve seen my own idols and shortcomings more clearly, so this was a timely post for me to read. Thanks for sharing. Good Bible passage btw!

    Liked by 1 person

    • endorap says:

      Aw thanks Aaron. I appreciate you reading.

      Dude. I think the worship seminar was perfectly timed as well. Humbled that God used my experiences to remind you of your own idols. Don’t be discouraged; we all have idols because we’re created to worship. Except it’s easier for us to worship everything else but the one whom we were made to worship. Will be praying for you! Heh. Thanks for having me read Psalm 62 for worship. God is sovereign.

      Like

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