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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Losing Perspective

. . .everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isaiah 43:6-7)

It is not about us. It's about Almighty God. It is not about our kingdom. It's about about His.

The theory surrounding that truth is easy to articulate. Living out that truth is, at least in my esperience, more problematic.

That was part of Israel’s problem. They had unwittingly lost God’s perspective. The Old Testament reveals the Israelites had perfected the trappings of religion. They practiced the right rituals and said the correct words -- but their hearts were far from God. They were full of pride, rebellion and selfishness.

It had become about them, not about God.

It would be a mistake to ignore how easily any group -- even the Church -- can lose perspective and wrap ourselves in rituals and form. Like them, we also can unknowingly substitute activity for a relationship with God.

It is a danger we all face -- and one we must all avoid. Which is why it is so very necessary to regularly seek God with a proper disposition: humble prayer, honest repentence of sin, sincere reception of the Sacraments, and meditation on His Word.

To be careless about our walk of faith is to open ourselves to the power, deception and poison of sin -- and repeat the sins of early Israel.

3 comments:

deodate said...

Great post Rich, and that is why it is so critical that we know these stories. Those OT people are us and their struggles are our struggles. Humble prayer, honest repentence, Sacraments, His Word...what a great way to begin lent.
Andie

Anonymous said...

I agree, and yet I feel the church encourages the activity and rituals by creating an environment where it is difficult to admit our personal struggles, for fear of judgement. The bottom line is a personal relationship with God-not the facade people often don on Sunday mornings. I am wondering if the Israelites had even more pressure than we do to look good.

Richard Maffeo said...

I think your bottom line is the focus . . . a personal relationship with God. It's still too easy, even in the 21st century, to be content with casual acquaintance. We can each do better, regardless where we are in our journey. But, and this is important, God is quite patient. :)