“I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” (Hosea 13:5-6)
Reading Hosea 13 reminded me of a sermon I heard not long ago. The speaker mentioned that many times people desperately cry out to the Lord for something such as a job, for physical healing from an ailment, for a baby when they’re having trouble getting pregnant, for a spouse when they’re having trouble finding one, etc.
But after the Lord hears their cries and blesses them with that very thing they are praying for, these people quickly thank God, take the blessing, run with it, and then forgot about God. And what’s worse, often times the very thing they were praying for ends up being an idol that draws them further away from the Lord, rather than drawing them closer to Him.
God reminds Israel that this is exactly what they’ve done to Him, repeatedly. They cried out to God, He took care of them in their time of need, they were satisfied, they became proud, and then they forgot about God.
We too must be very careful that we don’t take God’s blessings for granted. I know it’s hard, but we have to put ourselves in the mindset that every single thing we have belongs to the Lord. God has given it to us for a purpose, and that is to bring Him glory and expand His Kingdom.
Our spouses, our children, our relationships, our jobs, our homes, our material possessions, our gifts, our talents, our time, our treasure… everything is to be offered back to the Lord. Yes, we are given them that we may also find enjoyment through them in fellowship with God, but good stewardship of all He has given us is a clear mandate in Jesus’ teachings.
I’m reminded of this as I look around my office and my house, at all of the junk I’ve accumulated over the years. I’m reminded of this as I think about all of the relationships with people that the Lord has given me. I’m reminded of this as I reflect on the different gifts, talents, and abilities He’s given me.
Do I really need all that I have? And am I really using all I have for His glory and for Kingdom-first purposes? I have to admit that I don’t think I’m even close at this point.
My prayer is that God will transform me more and more so that everything He has given to me I can give to Him in return. May I remember that all I’m given I don’t even deserve, but I’ve been given them purely out of His love and grace for me. And lastly, may I not take His blessings, be satisfied, but then out of my pride and comfort forget Him and all He has done for me. Amen!
[From February 3, 2019]