Thursday, August 26, 2010

Your Hope

Last night, after everyone from life group had left, Breena and I sat down to pray. Sometimes, before I can pray, I need to read some Scripture because I don't really have the words, and praying God's word back to him helps me to find those words. So I opened to Isaiah 40, and started in verse 21:
Do you not know?
     Have you not heard?
...Those who hope in YHWH
     will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles;
     they will run and not grow weary,
     they will walk and not be faint.
It was that bit about hope that struck me most. It occurred to me that I had been hoping in the false idols that Tim Keller had written about in his book Counterfeit Gods, as well as in some idols that are particular to me. I spend a lot of time thinking about the future, hoping for a better life for me and my family. I create films in my imagination of the life I really want.

It occurred to me, as I sat and prayed with my wife, that my hope is not in YHWH. My hope is in making enough money to provide a good life for us. My hope is in finding a ministry job that truly satisfies me. My hope is in having a more structured, organized life so that I can do all the things I want to do. All of these are good things--things that, I believe, God wants for me--but they cannot be the object of my hope. That must be God, and God alone. These things had become idols in my heart because I directed my hope toward them and not toward God.

Our prayer last night was a prayer of repentance, of unmasking our idols and removing them from the throne of our hearts. The challenge is to continue in this new way of hoping, of rewriting the films of my imagination. I'll know that my hope is truly in God alone when I have stopped daydreaming about a better life and financial blessing, and started to imagine a future in which God is most fully glorified through my life.

1 comment:

Breena Holt said...

...and the physical heaviness that left us afterward was amazing.