I woke up at 3:20 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Usually when that happens, I know God is wanting to spend time with me--to either pray for others or to reveal something to my own heart.
One of the first things that came to me as I awakened was my family. As I lay there, I prayed for them. More things began to come to my mind and I knew I wasn't going back to sleep and I also knew I was about to start reading Nehemiah (which excites me!), so I got up to pray and read. I began praying for our nation and the election. I began praying for those who've been affected by Hurricane Sandy. And then it came to me--there are so many disasters going on around me! Things are out of control.
And then I stopped and asked, "What am I missing God? What am I not seeing?" And I looked for the common denominator in all these things and you know what I saw? Self and money.
Begin listening. As you listen to the final days of the presidential election, notice how often you hear references to how the candidates are thinking about your best interests (self) and will help you prosper (money) in the days ahead. We've experienced a terrible disaster on the east coast. Unfortunately, it will be reduced to ugliness over who does or doesn't get help (self)...financially (money). (We've seen that one before!) Many churches are in conflict over who is in control (self) especially in the area of finances (money). And I'm often reduced to the same. I want control (self). I want what I want financially and materially (money).
It hit me. There's no sacrifice left. There's no serving God and others. How did we get so off focus? It's created a disaster in our nation, in our churches, and in our homes. It all boils down to the two greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love others as yourself. Everything is hinged on these 2 commandments. Everything.
We can either love and serve God and others. Or we can serve self and money. And I think we're seeing the disastrous results when we choose self and money over God and others.
The exciting news? The book of Nehemiah is all about rebuilding the walls which had fallen down in Jerusalem. We can do some rebuilding of our own by confessing our sin and turning our focus back to loving God and others. We still have time.