It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! Decorations are up and lights have been strung on the trees outside. A celebration of light and color has begun in this time of uncertainty. This tells me that people do love to celebrate this season and one another in the process. The question that comes to my mind is, what are we really celebrating? As believers, we know that this season is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Are we really living our entire life as if Jesus makes a difference? Is God just a hobby to us? Is God the real motivator of my life, my heart’s desire? These are hard questions and we need to take the time to answer them.
GOD AS A HOBBY
As I considered the word hobby, I wanted to be sure of the definition.
From Dictionary.com: an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation
God becomes a hobby when we think that going to church on Sunday is all I need to do in order to live out my Christian life. We check off the church box and then go on our way. This is true of so many who think being counted on a Sunday morning is all that is required of a believer. The goal of hearing a message on Sunday morning that will carry me through the week seems like a worthy one. But the reality is, we don’t really remember what was said on Sunday by Monday morning. How can a person become more like Jesus in one hour a week? The answer is she can’t.
God becomes a hobby when we pursue him only when we’re in trouble, but never when life is going well. When the disappointments of life hit us, then we think to go to God and ask for his help. Suffering has a way of driving us to God. We don’t like to suffer and if he can get us out of it or fix it for us, we’re all about that! Yet, when life is going along without too much trouble, our minds don’t think of God. We have a greater dependence on ourselves than we should. How can a person become more like Jesus depending on herself? The answer is she can’t.
God becomes a hobby when we put him in the closet for later. The closet becomes a great place to put those things we’ve started but haven’t taken the time to finish. If you’re like me you have many things in the closet that you intend to “get to”, but haven’t yet. These things are hobbies and are not on the list of priorities for daily living. We can do the same thing to God. He becomes the Bible on the shelf in the closet that we intend to “get to” but never do. God is only a hobby because there no pursuit of him on a regular basis. How can a person become more like Jesus when God is on the shelf? The answer is she can’t.
A HEART FOR GOD
In his book, The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life, Jeremy Pierre gives this definition of our hearts.
“The terms for soul, spirit, and mind describe the same types of function as the term for heart. In other words, they all do the same thing, indicating the various biblical terms for human experience do not refer to multiple spiritual organs that do different things. The biblical authors understand human experience as flowing from one, unified heart.” Page 15
Therefore, our heart represents who we are and how we live our life. To have a heart for God involves our entire life and being. This takes effort and time to build a relationship with God in which we actually see him as part of our everyday life.
God becomes the center of our life when we spend time seeking him. We have to take the time to feed our belief of who God is. It’s so easy to forget how good, great, loving, kind, and faithful God is to us in our everyday life. We get so caught up in our own thinking or in what is happening, we can’t see him working on our behalf. The reminders of his character are so important in our seeking of him. This seeking is more about knowing him than making him to fit the image we desire. Seeking is important for us. Jesus said, “…seek, and you will find…” Matthew 7:7b What will we find? We’ll find that God is able to take us through each and every part of this life.
God becomes the center of our life when we give him credit for the good. The temptation to take a bow for success in this life is a huge one. We want to be successful in our jobs, raise great kids, be good neighbors, be a pleasing wife or husband, or pour into friends lives. It is a great feeling to know that we have been successful in this life but our success doesn’t come from us. If God is the center of my life, then I will give him the credit for anything good that happens. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17a Who can we trust? God who is the author of good.
God becomes the center of our life when we want to bring him glory. As followers of Christ, we would say that our lives are to bring God glory; but do we really believe that? The key here is to realize that God is the one who is worthy. He, alone, is worthy of glory. We will realize this at a greater level when we take the time to remember all God has done. It begins with creation but moves on to Jesus. What the work of Christ has accomplished for us is beyond the scope of our complete understanding! Jesus Christ in his life, death, and resurrection has provided the way for us to have an intimate relationship with God. The Triune God’s plan before the world began was to provide this for those who will believe.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
God is worthy of glory! God is good and gives good things! God can be found by us when we take the time to seek him! These are only a few things we need to be aware of in order to have a heart for God. There are infinite reasons why we should have a heart for God! The greatest of which is our salvation, orchestrated by God and obtained for us by Jesus’ sacrifice.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! This year may we be reminded about more than just the baby in the manger. For followers of Christ, the baby in the manger made it possible for eternal life. If life in eternity will be all about God and his glory, we need to get ready now by having a heart for God. Let’s ask ourselves what we need to do the make God the center of our life? Then, let’s do it!