“The Israelites were in great distress. Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.” The Lord replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!” But the Israelites pleaded with the Lord and said,”We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.” Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the Lord. And he was grieved by their misery.” Judges 10:9-16 NLT
What other gods am I following? Sometimes good things can turn into idols if I am not careful. Before I know it my focus is on them and off of the one who graciously gives them to me.
“As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women.” Luke 23:26-27 NLT
I reflect on the things in my life that have over-shadowed the cross.
The women followed Jesus all the way to the cross. “The more we follow Jesus, the more we fall in love with Him, want to obey Him, experience life with Him, and become a beacon of light to others through Him. Will following Him be inconvenient? Maybe. Will it cost us in ways that stretch us? Sometimes. Does it force us to live life with a less self-centered outlook? Yes. Does living to follow Jesus at every turn bring joy that we can’t get any other way? Absolutely. Following Him is the very thing our souls were created to do. And it is the most daily way to discover our purpose in life.” (Embraced Devotional, Lysa TerKeurst)
They wanted to be near him.
“I have followed your commands, which keep me from following cruel and evil people. My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you. I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Psalms 17:4-8 NLT
Dear Father, please forgive me for putting other things before you. Thank you for your grace and mercy. For your presence. To you be the glory. Amen.