“The Israelites said, ‘Rule over us…because you have saved us.’” Judges 8:22
These were haunting words from the children of Israel as they pled for Gideon to step into the position of authority over them. Repeatedly they have searched for someone to worship in place of God. They were determined to have a visible and tangible target for their praise. Ever since the Bible introduced us to God’s chosen people the cycle has been the same. His children grant Him authority …they get disgruntled or spiritually lazy and their lives get out of control, driving them back into the arms of God. Once they experience some success they give authority over to another only to continue the damaging cycle.
Sound familiar? It seems that when we are having a little bit of success it is easy to take our eyes away from the One who gave us that success. He gives us the tools we need to prevent weaknesses from mastering over us. We all know our weaknesses…they are no secret to us. We certainly know what ensnares us, rolling out the red carpet to enslave us. We appropriate power to certain things that are not spiritually good for us. We forget that ‘while all things are permissible they are not necessarily beneficial.’ 1 Co. 10:23. And yet through our actions we invite them to rule over us, and give them credit for enriching our lives or helping us feel better. We may not be as blatant as the children of Israel but we must be honest with our hearts. If we know our weaknesses and we choose to participate in them, we invite them to become our idol and take the seat of control over our lives. How do I know this so well?
For many years I invited spending to rule over me and gave it the credit for making me feel better about my life. The cycle was set and it had to be broken for me to be free. The answer was not in avoiding stores all together but allowing God to change the way I thought about spending. Many times the success of things not mastering over us is not in isolating ourselves from it but giving God the chance to manage within it. Our strength comes from Him and so does our self-control when dealing with our weaknesses. Left to our own abilities we will falter and fall but when we allow God to master within our flaws we are guaranteed success.
The answer is in the availability. Do we avail and invite God into the most difficult temptation in our lives or do we keep Him on the outer loop kidding ourselves that we can achieve success without Him? May we all invite God into our temptations and avail Him the power to change us from the inside out.