What might be one of the greatest dangers to our faith is a season of plenty. You know, those seasons where we’re happy, where we have almost everything we could ask for, where we really can’t complain about anything. Those seasons where it’s really tempting to say that the world is satisfying us.
I know I’ve been there. I’m content, and I’m living life to its fullest. I’ve got a full schedule, full of things that are by no means anti-Biblical, but they’re also not exactly Biblical. They’re just fun things that I enjoy that also don’t directly glorify God.
It’s so easy when I’m doing all that to forget to truly rest in God, or to brush it off in the name of doing all those other fun things.
But isn’t that what the Israelites did so many times? Really, with how many times they rebelled against God in seasons of fullness, you’d have thought they would’ve eventually learned their lesson. You’d have though we would have learned something from them.
I’ve been reading the book of Hosea, and it’s all about Israel forsaking God to instead worship idols. It’s about God sending warnings to them through prophets, telling them to come back to Him, to forget about the idols. But what do they do? They keep on worshiping the idols! So God has punishment in store for them.
But in Hosea 14, God brings redemption. It’s God’s incredible grace.
It’s a beautiful story of God’s love for His people despite their rebellion. We see in 14 chapters, God’s warnings, God’s justice, and God’s mercy.
But what tempted Israel to forsake God in the first place? Well, I’m no historian or Biblical scholar, but it says in Hosea 13:6: “But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me” (NLT).
Beforehand, Israel had known just how much they needed God because they’d been in the wilderness, all alone, struggling to survive, after God brought them out of Egypt. And because our God is a God who hears our prayers and cares for us, He cared for Israel.
I know it’s sometimes a lot easier to acknowledge my own dependence on God when I’m in a rough season. When I’m struggling with loneliness, when I’m overcome with anxiety, when my circumstances are making it clear just how much I need God.
Did you catch the problem in that statement?
Circumstances. Circumstances shouldn’t define my faith life.
God isn’t defined by circumstances. God is unchangeable. God is the same no matter what.
And my faith should be based on God and God alone.
That’s it. Pretty simple, right?
That means that in all seasons of life, I must worship. In seasons of dryness and seasons of fullness.
See, I need God at all times. Any time I fool myself into thinking that things are great and that I can get by without abiding in Him, I’m doing just what Israel did. I’m fooling myself into thinking that other things can satisfy me, but all it will do is bring disappointment and destruction.
The only One who can satisfy me is the King of the universe. Which is why I can never stop abiding Him. I can never stop praising Him. I can never stop worshiping Him.
I pray that this worship will be a constant in my life, above and more than anything else. And I pray for the same for all of us. Let’s not make the same mistake the Israelites did, the same mistake I’ve made time and time again.