Journal Entry // November 05, 2022
When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. (ESV)2 Chronicles 12:1
With my own eyes I can look around at all the many blessings that the Lord has graciously provided and given to me out of his generous heart and see only my own strength and understanding being the source. In my self-righteousness and pride, I take what has been freely given to me through the hand of God and convince myself and others that it is by my own hand that all these good things have come to pass. I slowly move from a heart filled with gratitude and thankfulness to the One who provides to a heart devoid of thanksgiving and replace it with only arrogance and self-adulation. And as my heart begins to turn inward and my world begins to center solely on myself, I end up in the same place as Rehoboam does. For once Rehoboam had received the kingdom and his rule had been established, he did not rejoice and bask in the mighty works of God. No, he abandoned the law of the Lord. Rehoboam walked away from the One who had given him the promise and fulfilled this same promise. Rehoboam moved from trusting God to trusting in himself.
This is the path we will all take if we are not careful and attentive to our heart. The danger to myself comes from within my very own heart. These moments of blessing and watching the Lord fulfill his promises and bringing me to the heights of accomplishment are meant to encourage and strengthen my resolve and trust in the Lord. My faith should be strengthened during these mountain top experiences. For the road to the top of the mountain is often steep and dangerous. The path is winding and filled with many dangerous turns. The Lord uses this upward difficult path to build and establish my heart to trust in Christ alone. To learn obedience through suffering. To feel the searing pain of struggle and hardship. All in order to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Yet, once I reach the top. Once I reach the point of accomplishment and begin to taste in the good fruit of God’s provision, I can lose focus. I can lose perspective. I can survey the land from the height and begin to think about how amazing I was during that travel. I begin to prize and value “my” accomplishments. And why not. Everyone around me is telling me how amazing I am to be at this pinnacle of accomplishment and they want to know my secret of success. They want to know the 10 steps to financial freedom. The 7 rules of leadership. And over time I give in to this false narrative and tell them those 10 steps and 7 rules as if I every understood the path that God led me through to reach this mountain top. I find myself alone at this pinnacle. Devoid of any desire for the things of God. I abandon the law of God and begin to cling to my own sense of right and wrong. I look inward for direction instead of looking to the holy and righteous One.
Yet, I will trust him more. Though my heart may wander and my steps may stray at times, the Lord is faithful and true. He will never ever abandon me. Jesus is even now standing and knocking at the door of my heart. He comes to wake me from my slumber. He comes to rouse me from my stupor. He comes to gather me in from my waywardness. He has prepared a table before me. A table of fellowship and renewal. I taste of heaven… my future home. This is the counter to all the negative that has been shared previously. How we stand firm at the pinnacle is the same as how we reached that point in the first place. We must simply trust in Christ alone for each and every need. We must humble ourselves before our loving Father. In faith, I can sojourn through this world in communion with my God. The Spirit is at home in my heart. I am never alone. I am never away from the presence of the Lord. He is here with me even now. He brings comfort and peace to this tired and worried soul. He brings mercy and grace to this wandering and unsettled heart. He is love and He loves me. Calling me to something greater than myself. Calling me heavenward. Calling me home.