So, I’m putting together my sermon for church and I just needed to share. We live in a society that’s all about consumption. We are so concerned with what we eat, what we buy, who sees us (or who we see) and what our overall status is. Facebook has taken over to the point that people believe status updates as ultimate truth. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.
I’m wondering at this point “what consumes me?” My Bible says it should be Jesus — my life should be about Him; His plans and dreams and hopes. This has nothing to do with being a pastor; it has everything to do with being a follower of Christ. God isn’t looking for Sunday Christians…I actually believe those are the devil’s favorite people. They are content and satisfied. They aren’t growing in their faith, they are serving and ministering; they are merely punching a religious clock called attendance. Satan is worried about the people who are consumed by God.
I have so many options as an American for what I will allow to consume me. It could be sports or Hollywood. Money or clothing. Eating at fancy restaurants, attending the proper parties or just being a perfect dad. However, as the Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” My feelings and emotions can betray me all too easily. I must decide to be consumed by the truth of God’s Word.
Hebrews 13:8 tells me that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is nothing that the world or society can offer me that matches that claim. Jesus is eternal, God’s Word is eternal, His truth is eternal and He invites me into a life of eternity. When I decide to be consumed by God then I find myself trusting Him when there is more month than money. I lean on Him when disciplining my children or counseling a church member or leading worship. See, when I am consumed by God I no longer have to worry about other things. It’s not that they aren’t important, and this isn’t a license to be irresponsible, but when my heart, my thoughts, my life are consumed by God then I KNOW that He is taking care of the rest. Worry and stress are gone, strife and anger are gone; peace and abundant life become the rule and not the exception.
So, this all sounds wonderful and happy, but really? Consumed by God — you mean like every part of my being — my soul, my body, my mind and my spirit?? Yep, that’s what my Bible says. Unfortunately, I must confess that I have a long way to go in this area…I find myself consumed with sports, I look forward to football games more than church at times. I fret over my kids and worry about finances and stress about my role as a husband, dad, pastor, friend, etc. But I know where I want to be — consumed by God. I want to be able to stand strong on His foundation even if the world around me is crumbling.
It’s interesting but it was easier to do this 18 months ago when my world was crumbling. It’s amazing how betrayal and despair can drive us to the throne of God — but the key is am I consumed by Him when my skies are blue? That’s a bit more trickier because I can start to grow in a confidence and assurance that isn’t based on God, simply because life is smooth. So, what consumes me? Well, I know the answer that I am aiming for (God) and I know the reality I am facing (everything else). There is a tension between faith and reality, between right and wrong, between surrendering to God and indulging my selfishness. Thankfully, it’s a journey and although the path is rocky at times, I can tell that I’m heading in the right direction!
What consumes you?
Mike Dobes is the high school and college age pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Camarillo, CA. He is happily married with 5 amazing kids, loves sports and the beach and is blessed to be in ministry. Check out his blog for more!