“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”- Matthew 6:21
As human beings, we are prone to wander and search for things to fulfill us. These things can be physical, like buying a fancy car or filling a big house with worldly possessions. They can also be non-tangible, such as seeking attention or feelings of love in a relationship. We are prone to inadvertently worship many little “g” gods. You may be saying that you don’t worship “g” gods, but just know that we all tend to do this from time to time. There are few people who can safely say that their focus is solely on God and doing His work 100% of the time. A little “g” god is anything that takes your time, money, and attention away from God. Now, if you’re not yet a believer in God, then this message may have little spiritual meaning, but I’d like to encourage you to evaluate where your heart is. Where is your treasure? Is it in making money? Making yourself beautiful/ more attractive? Being successful? Finding a mate? Or is it with serving others? Bettering your community? Living for something that is outside of yourself?
Even as Christians we tend to spend our time and focus on things outside of the Lord. How often do you check social media? How many hours do you spend at work? How often do you put family time or friend time above time spent alone with the Lord? The big idol or little “g” god that I wanted to talk about today will likely resonate with many single Christians… the pursuit of a romantic relationship..
I feel like we often idolize relationships. We put other people up on a pedestal and expect them to fill that void we feel in our souls. Even those who are married can put their marriage as a higher priority than time with the Lord and living out His purpose for our lives The hard truth is that nobody and no thing will ever fill that void. We can try to fill that hole with lots of expensive possessions, delicious (usually unhealthy) food, endless strings of romantic relationships, or some people turn to drugs and alcohol in the hope of numbing that emptiness away. Another hard truth is this… Jesus is the ONLY one who can ever fill that seemingly never ending emptiness that we have deep down inside. When we base our worth on what we own or whether or not we are “loved” by a significant other, family, or even friends we will be let down. Every. Single. Time.
Jesus is the life force that will always fulfill your heart’s true desire, which is to be loved and accepted unconditionally. When we look to the world to fill that desire, it’s like drinking physical, earthly water… we will always need to go back to the fridge, fountain, or wherever to get more because it doesn’t quench the very mechanism in our brains and bodies that tells us we are thirsty. The water merely holds us over for a time, until we need to replenish the water that is lost throughout the day during our normal, every day activities.
Jesus on the other hand is the living water, the water that will always and forever quench that deep thirst we all have. He dives down deep to the very center of that mechanism inside that forces us to seek out (usually unhealthy) ways to quench that spiritual thirst. As a follower of Christ who has an honest and true relationship with Him, I find myself not craving the same attention that I used to seek when I was younger. I also don’t have the same deep seeded desire to have a romantic relationship with another person. I believe that this is because Jesus has helped to fill that emptiness, that deep desire that once, honestly, ruled my life.
It’s true that every so often I go through phases where pursuing a relationship sounds like the most important thing that I could possibly be doing (especially when talking to certain friends or family members), I am still human after all. I still look around every once in a while and think “wow, I’m all alone and all of my friends, neighbors, and family members are happily living it up with their husband, wife, boyfriend, whatever. And I am totally and forever destined to be alone. Why would God do this to me?”
When I look back at these times or become aware that I’ve sunk deeper into that pit, I notice that these are times when I haven’t been devoutly reading my bible and spending quality time with God. As I’ve grown in my relationship with God, I’ve become more self aware to when I’m falling into that dangerous trap of self loathing and doubt because of the lies that I’ve believed from listening to the world, and not to God’s honest, loving, truth.
This is not to say that being in a relationship or desiring a relationship is inherently sinful or anything like that. God made Eve to be a companion for Adam because in Genesis 2:18 God says that “it is not good for man to be alone.” This is the same principal that we see with money. Money itself is not inherently evil or sinful, it is the LOVE of money that is sinful because it causes us to stray away from God in the same way that obsessing over a relationship can cause us to stray away from the righteous path that God has set us on. The other danger is what happens when the relationship that you so desperately desire doesn’t actually materialize. That sting, pain, self doubt, and lonely feeling of unrequited love can cause us to wander away from God. The trick I’ve found is to use that feeling as a catalyst for calling out for God to fill you with His love and His amazing presence. Call out for God to fill that empty void inside of you. Call out and He will answer. He may not always answer you in the way that you’d expect, but God is faithful to answer us when we spend the time and pray to Him.
I want to challenge you to examine your life. Look at your activities, your desires. Where is your treasure? Where is your heart? Look into your life today and identify if you have any “g”ods that you have been worshiping (intentionally or unintentionally). Re-examine your priorities, seek out counsel from other faithful, trustworthy Christians around you, and most importantly pray to God to help you set your priorities on the path that He has set for you. I pray, my friends, that God will give you an answer to your prayer (maybe “yes”, maybe “no”, maybe “not right now” only God can give you the solid answer that you seek). I also pray that He will always be the one to fill your hearts and replace the emptiness that we all feel from time to time. May God always keep a seat right next to Him at His table that is open and waiting for you to join in His fulfilling glory.