Remember the old Abbot and Costello skit: “Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third…”
I have been pondering that question lately: Who’s on first? Who is first in my life? I wish I could say God was all the time, but to be honest, that is not always true.
I heard a speaker a few years ago, Rev, Dan Schrock, pastor of the Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen Indiana, speak about five attachments we cling to instead of God. Many of these affections are not bad, but just disordered. We hold onto them tightly, putting them in first place – a place reserved only for God.
“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous,
is a jealous God.”
What takes the place of God as priorities in our hearts and lives?
1. Physical objects – that new truck, our laptop, the home we have lived in for 26 years
2. People – This could be a highly regarded mentor, a close friend and of course, our family
3. Images of self – Being competent, your education, your job, being known as an expert.
4. Feelings – discouragement, anxiety, fears
5. Spiritual things – A special prayer practice, a pastor or a church building, even your image of God
I was aware of the first two, but the last three gave me new perspective to what blocks me from God.
I have long felt pride in my self-image as an independent woman. Lately God has shown that my self-sufficiency is not always a strength, but a weakness. He is the strength I rely upon in my dependence fully on him, not in my independence and reliance on myself.
I struggled much of my life with the feelings of discouragement and anxiety. I have allowed them to control my behaviors, when God is the only one really in control.
Spiritually I hang onto the images I have of God instead of answering his invitation to see him in new ways. Or even with no image – just blind faith in him to lead me.
God only has eyes for us. His eyes focus on his creation. He invites us to do the same with him. To have him as number one, for God to be our primary focus, in our hearts, minds and lives.
Who’s on first for you?
So true, Jean. I struggle with a lot of the same things. When I put other things in first, I not only worry incessantly, but struggle with anxiety and self worth feeling I have to prove my independence. Completely counter-productive. The Lord’s been showing me things about the “spiritual things” department. Often, those I love in ministry have no understanding about how my life makes it impossible to be in service as much as I would like to. When I do get to go, I too often rush there as an act of people pleasing rather than with a heart of worship. Disappointing because it rarely has the desired affect, as expectations others may have have already not been met. I love corporate worship and togetherness, but something here in my life needs to change.
Jean Wise says
Thanks for your kind comment, Taryn. I have been traveling and just now getting back to the blog and home routines. Glad to connect with you!
I remember the Abbott and Costello skit you are talking about. We used to listen to the reruns with our children. That is a good analogy and thanks for sharing it. It means a lot today.
I am lined up right after you over at Michele DeRusha’s blog. Have a wonderfully blessed day!!
No kidding, Jean. And now, I see everywhere places where a believers’ love for their pastor inhibits their connection to God. Some pastors discourage this with intent, but not enough. Not nearly enough.
Dolly @Soulstops says
Thanks for reminding us of those subtle idols. One thing God has taught me through “The Wall” as John of The Cross calls those crisis times is that I didn’t have a correct image of Him…I didn’t realize how compassionate He really is…hugs to you 🙂
Wonderful post! Thanks for reminding us about the idols of self that prevent us from fully trusting God!