They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshipped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.
2 Kings 17:15 (NLT)
“They worshipped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves.” This brief sentence in the book of 2 Kings seemed to jump off the page to me as I read it. I found myself asking, “Where do I try to find my worth?” From my achievements? From my relationship with other people? From my stuff?” And as I began an honest search of my heart, I found that I could answer an unfortunate “yes” to each of those questions.
Why? Why do we look to other things for the worth that can only come from God? We find the answer in the very next sentence of this passage in 2 Kings:
They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.
Ouch! Did you feel that slight “God Smack” along with me? We can get so caught up in all the things that surround us, including social media, that we begin to seek our worth from how many “likes” our Instagram post received or how many “friends” commented on our latest Facebook status. We begin to feel valued based on these superficial and temporary things. Yet God reminds us here in 2 Kings that these “worthless idols” will only cause us to become worthless as we pursue them.
True worth comes from God alone. He alone is worthy and my worth actually comes through my relationship with Him…walking daily with Him. Nothing can ever replace the worth we find in our relationship with God. It is what He desires above everything else.
What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God the Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Lately, I am working on intentionally walking daily with God. As I do, I find that my entire outlook changes. Little things don’t bother me as much as they did in the past. My outlook stays more positive and I feel God’s love for me overflowing in so many different ways. My husband and I are currently dealing with some very difficult challenges in some of our family relationships, including caring for aging parents. But each day I intentionally spend time with Jesus, I find that I am better equipped to keep my focus on God’s sovereignty and faithful provision. I can feel God’s presence with me throughout the day.
But then everything changes…I start feeling overwhelmed and start trying to please everyone else. I want to be a good daughter and a good wife and a good sister and a good mother and a good employee…and the list goes on and on. I am trying to live in a way that pleases everyone else because I am looking to find my worth in their eyes…and God seems very far away. The little problems that come my way seem enormous and all of my personal coping mechanisms start to fail.
As I take a step back, I realize that my circumstances are exactly the same…nothing has changed except my focus. I have a choice…we each have a choice…we can either focus on our circumstance or on God’s loving presence. Focusing on our worthless circumstances will make our life worthless as well. But focusing on the One who gave everything for us reminds us of how valuable we are to Him. In Him, we find our true worth…
Jesus, you know my struggles right now. You know how desperately I want to walk closely with you and how I so often lose my focus and allow the worries and cares of this world to overshadow your love and care for me. Help me to walk with you each and every day. Keep the eyes of my heart turned to you. Remind me every day of your great love for me. Help me to trust in your sovereignty and provision in all of my circumstances…
Today’s post was written by Michele Barnes.
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 very sweet grandson! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, writing, or working with women. In the evenings she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, painting, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading. But one of her favorite passions is playing with her grandson and laughing at his bright smile! You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.