Do you ever just feel so full of yourself, or so full of the world, that it sickens you?
There are times when I feel so full of the world and so void of God. Times where I feed my flesh upon the delicacies of this world. Times where I look for gratifications that appease my fleshly appetite bringing satisfaction even if only for the moment. A sensual movie, shopping at my favorite boutique, reading People magazine, researching the latest and newest cosmetic regiment that promises to erase the effects of time.
And then I feel sick. I feel bloated. And I feel empty. My spirit within me cries out in starvation, “God, where are you? I miss you! Please return!”
In the past several months I have begun to realize just how steeped in Babylon I am. Oh, I would like to put on my religious face and tell you that I am above all of that. But that would be a lie. The truth is Babylon seduces me! I don’t just live in Babylon; Babylon lives in me.
Living against the tide of our culture is a very difficult task. I have told God that I don’t want to think and live like this world. I desperately want to live according to the principles of His kingdom. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed and helpless and I ask Him, “How do I do this? It seems impossible!”
When God came to deliver the Israelites out of bondage, the first thing He did was send plagues upon the idols of the country where they lived. He was intentional in showing them that the gods of Egypt could not save, could not deliver, and could not satisfy. There was only one god that could do this and Yahweh, I AM, was His name.
Their delivery out of Egypt was truly miraculous. He shook the kingdom of Egypt to it’s core and then His people were released. He came to them because He loved them and wanted a nation to call His own. A nation with whom He wanted to make His dwelling place.
There are times in life when only God can bring the shaking we need in order to set us free. He knows the idols of our heart. One author’s description of an idol “...is not just something you worship but it is whatever you put your trust in.” We say we worship God but where, what, or in whom, do we put our trust?
God visited Egypt but He made His habitation in Israel. I have heard Christians say they want a visitation from the Holy Spirit. For me, a visit isn’t enough. The presence of visitors can be satisfying but visits come to an end and visitors leave. Visitors don’t move in and take up residence. In fact, they may only be welcomed in certain rooms of your house. Having visitors can begin to feel intrusive and one may tire of them.
I believe Jesus is not merely looking for a place to visit but rather, He is looking for a place to dwell, a place where He takes up residence and is welcomed in every room of the house.
Lord, we love your visits but, sometimes we want you to leave and come again another time when it is more convenient. Perhaps when we are lonely and need the company. Perhaps when we are desperate and need something from you. Perhaps after we have had our fill on Babylon’s next pleasure. Our souls cry out for you! Nothing will satisfy. We look to fill our cisterns with the things of this world only to realize our cisterns are broken. We need you father, everyday, in every way, all the time. Oh God, forgive us for being content with a mere visit. Our spirit longs to become the habitation of God. Come Lord Jesus; make us your dwelling place!