Just like the small acorn, the habits we form and hold on to in life - though not always 'bad', can grow and deepen with repetition and become a 'huge' thing. It could be just one puff; that desire to shop; that obsession with the car or house; that addiction to your devices; the job you can never seem to leave even when at home or on vacation; or whatever you hold dear that you obsess about. These things can become your 'little god' and take deep root in your life, and spread its influence far and wide. At times, these 'small acorns' in our lives can become 'big trees' that keep us so caught up with this world that they stunt our spiritual growth and influence. Be watchful of these not so small things in our lives. So what is your 'small acorn'?
This week as I continue my Bible reading I was reminded in Deuteronomy, that these small things (habits, 'little gods) that we hold so dear, as 'good' as some may appear, can and will keep us out of heaven. Moses found himself once again on the brink of the promised land. What must it have been like for him to see it, after all this time of wandering in the desert with these quarrelsome, ungrateful, impatient and difficult Israelites, and not be able to enter? The book of Hebrews 3:2,5 describe Moses as faithful in God's house as a servant; he was appointed of God and served faithfully when he was entrusted with God's entire house. But one small - not so small thing kept him from entering the promise land. In Numbers 20, God told Moses to speak to the rock and it will pour out its water, but....but.... Moses, Oh Moses ... allowed the complaining of the people (the noises of the world around) to cause him to become distracted from following the instruction of God - and he struck the rock, not once, but twice with his staff. For this, disobedience, this one thing, even with all the good he had done, kept him from entering the promised land.
And so it is with us today, we appear to be good christians - we attend church regularly, listen to many sermons, care for those in need, visit the sick in the hospital, give of our monetary means and time for the spreading of the gospel, hold church offices, go on mission trips, do all the earthly good we know how to, and yet that one 'not so small thing' that we refuse to give up can lead to us missing the mark. It could be a grudge we hold, becoming prideful about the educational and professional accomplishments and failing to recognize to whom all glory belongs, thinking ourselves better than others, a habit of becoming angry and speaking unkindly to our loved ones when things don't go the way we think they should, our love of the pleasures of this world, just to name a few. That one small - not so small thing could become a mountain in our lives and block our view of Heaven - our promised land.
This was a striking reality and reminder for me. I had to stop and look deep inside and ask God to reveal to me, my small - not so small things (I am sure I have many) that will keep me from seeing Him face to face when he return. I pray that you will too. We serve a loving and merciful God, and like with Moses, God extended grace - He allowed Moses to see the promise land; and we know He made eventually. If we too completely surrender all, and I mean all, to Him, he is faithful and willing to forgive us of all our mistakes and misgivings, give us a new heart, and develop in us the character of Jesus, so that where He is we will be.
Let us be faithful and allow Him to rid us of anything that will hinder our spiritual growth. My prayer for us all is found in Philippians 2:5 which states, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
One more lesson learnt and praise be to God!