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Yes, the Day is coming when people will notice The One Who Made Them, take a long hard look at The Holy of Israel. They’ll lose interest in all the stuff they’ve made—altars and monuments and rituals, their homemade, handmade religion—however impressive it is. Isaiah 17:7-8 (The Message)

Isaiah gives the people of Israel hope for the future. As usual, it seems, God’s people had once more strayed from the relationship they had with God. They had become distracted with making money, building for the future and making life as comfortable as possible.

 God was ‘in their lives’ but He was just a part of many other things going on. He was a safety net. God, or in this case religion had become an activity, not a relationship. They believed that everything would be okay as long as they did all the rituals of ‘church’ and said the right things.

The Israelites hadn’t gotten to that point overnight. It was a slow gradual process like the frog in a boiling pot of water. Put a frog in hot water he jumps immediately to safety. Put him in cool water and turn on the heat he will boil to death as his body adjusts to the heat to a deadly level. When death comes it comes quickly.

Jesus doesn’t ask for 99% of our lives. He wants all of us, 100% or more! When we harbor sin, ignore our spiritual food or make our relationship a ritual, we will lose touch with what the spiritual life, the Christ-life’ is all about. It’s easy to do. We seek after houses and toys and ‘respect’ and power. Even under the name of ministry or serving God. But beware of making our actions and our accomplishments the basis of our spiritual being. Just as with Israel, the walls of our accomplishments can come crashing down.

Sometimes, it takes the destruction of the ‘walls of our accomplishments’ to see Jesus in all His fullness. It’s when we reach bottom that we can renew our life in Him and restore that relationship. Fortunately that is JUST what He wants. Jesus isn’t impressed with the church you attend (or lead) or the number of Bible Studies you attend, or the fact that you’ve read the Bible through every year for 50 years, or that you have remained faithful to your spouse for 75 years, or that you sing worship songs (add your own activities to this list).

These are all things, activities, actions. Some are very valuable. But it’s the heart that matters. It’s about relationship. Jesus spent more time reaching out to those of us that had failed, that struggled with our faith, our family, our kids and our jobs than He did the ‘nice clean religious folks of his day’.

Forget your past. Forget the accomplishments you’ve made for whatever the reason. Where is your heart?

PRAYER:  Dear Jesus. Thank you for the many things you have given me. Thank you for all of my gifts, my talents and my accomplishments. Forgive me for the times when I’ve made those accomplishments into idols that displace the relationship you want with me. Empower me through your Spirit to have a heart that is right with you. Amen

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January 2010
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