As believers, we should all be able to assert that the Lord God is truly our God, but in reality, He often only gets “honorable-mention”. Satan, the great deceiver and usurper, lured Adam and Eve into believing that they could be their own “gods”. In Genesis 3:4-5, we read “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” We all know that the rest is history, because if we are honest with ourselves and with God, we have followed in Adam and Eve’s footsteps. In many ways, we are our own “gods”.
It should be no wonder that, when God gave His Ten Commandments, His first commandment was “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2) Even though He had in mind the pantheon of gods we read about in the Bible – Baal, Molech, Dagon, Diana, He also knew that the “god” we are most likely to worship is SELF. Our gods of success, fame and wealth are merely manifestations of our god of SELF. We really do want what we want, where we want it, how we want it, and when we want it.
Sadly, as much as I would like to delude myself, STEVE is my god far too often. As hard as I may try, sometimes I can’t even get through a worship service without STEVE rearing his ugly head. I have a pretty decent, deep bass voice, and a good repertoire of hymns memorized, and sometimes, if I am belting out a hymn, I become enamored with my own singing ability, not in worshiping God. When that happens, and it happens far too often, I am brought back to reality, and realize that God would be doing me a huge favor if He reduced my voice to a hoarse whisper. That, among other things, may be one of my “thorns in the flesh”, meant to remind me that I haven’t yet “arrived”. I don’t deliberately set out to deprive God of His glory by glorifying myself, but I do it nonetheless.
Last night, I went to one of our semi-monthly BnC’s, which our Assistant Pastor (Tom) hosts for the guys. It is a “guy’s night out”, with good food, good beer, cigars, and wonderful fellowship. It has been a wonderful avenue for me to get to know some of the other men in our church, particularly the younger fellows. It is always a great time of fellowship. One of our regulars, Landon, is going in the Air Force in a few weeks. Pastor Tom mentioned that we need to have another BnC before Landon Leaves us, and since it would be in Landon’s honor, he could pick the date and the menu. Landon mentioned that it will have to be in February. Who has a birthday in February? STEVE! I pulled out my phone and brought up the calendar for February, and told the group that since my birthday is on the 23rd, if we had the BnC on either the 21st or the 28th, we could celebrate my birthday also. Self-centered STEVE wanted to turn our farewell party for Landon into STEVE’s birthday party. I own my brothers an apology, and soon.
I didn’t think much more about it last night, but just a bit ago, God hit me hard with my own self-centeredness, which was what prompted me to write this piece. As hard as I may try not to, I have an ego the size of Texas. God isn’t done with me yet.
Is God truly your God, or does God only get “honorable-mention” once in a while, and your SELF is really your god? Only you and God can really answer that question. What is your honest answer?