Worthless things

We’re having a wonderful family vacation! We arrived yesterday here in the mountains of Virginia and are enjoying God’s beautiful creation and silence! The only sound that disrupts the serene environment are the cows across the road in the field. No cell phone signal. No internet access. No sirens. NO traffic. No noise. Just peace and quiet. THIS is my kind of vacation.
As I sat on the front porch this morning, I thought about that: what is vacation? It comes from the word vacate, meaning to leave behind or to let go. That’s one reason so many come back from their “vacation” needing a vacation! They plan so much and run from one activity to another that they’re worn out even more than when they left.
The reason for that is simple: we don’t know how to vacate. We don’t know how to let go. We have become an entertainment driven society in today’s world, and we have forgotten how to escape the routine and soak in God’s intended rest for our heart, soul, body and mind. We don’t know how to let go of the media, the laptop, the cell phone, the television, etc. We have become so enamored with all of the distractions this world has to offer that we miss out on what God has in store for us. Many want God’s blessings and presence, but not at the expense of vacating those things in our lives that have become part of our routine. We want God’s blessings in addition to everything else we have going on in our lives, but that’s not what we see as the Biblical template for drawing close to God.
Bekah was sharing her thoughts from God’s word with me this morning. Ps. 119:37 says: “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” She talked about the worthless things of this world and how easily distracted we are. Even while we’re trying to spend time with God we have our cell phones on, or answer calls, or comment on facebook about what we’re reading from the Bible. That’s not vacating worthless things; that’s entertaining worthless things while voiding the complete power of eternal things, God’s word. And then she pointed out how revival in God’s ways comes after we have asked Him to turn our eyes away from the worthless things of this world. So then I began to read in the previous verses; you know, to get the contextJ.
Verse 33 asks God to teach us His ways. Do we do that? Do we want to learn God’s ways yet alone ask Him to teach us His statutes? Verse 34 asks for understanding and the result of that is we will always keep God’s law. Verse 35 asks to make us walk in the path of God’s commandments because we delight in it. Verse 36 says to incline our heart to God’s testimonies and not to covetousness. The word incline in the original Hebrew means “to cause me to long for”. Covetousness is idolatry (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5). Any time we want something or crave something more than God’s will that makes us guilty of idolatry. And then we come to verse 37 that asks for God to turn our eyes away from worthless things and revive us in God’s ways. But now read these verses backwards and look at the natural progression: we have to ask God to turn our eyes away from the worthless things we naturally desire; the covetous, idolatrous things, and have our hearts readjusted to long for God’s testimonies so that we will delight and walk in His paths of righteousness.
My prayer today is that we all would vacate the worthless, idolatrous things that clamor for our attention and cast our eyes on King Jesus in order to have His holy fire revive us today.image