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April 29, 2012

Have you ever been obsessed? Have you ever met a person who was obsessed with something? Obsession demands passion. If you have ever watched a toddler (or an adult for that matter) throw a tantrum, you have witnessed someone who is passionately obsessed. Anyone who throws a tantrum does so because he or she is single-minded in passion and purpose toward the object of his/her obsession.

I have three very passionate children. I get the privilege of having a front row seat to several tantrums every day. In every situation, which ever child is throwing the tantrum has determined to be unrelenting until the situation turns to his or her favor. Usually my children can not see that their way will not be best. Their obsession has blinded them. Yet, I do admire them for their enthusiasm. They never give up. Unrelenting Obsession.

This past week we took a trip with Paul through the pages of Acts and landed in Ephesus, home of those obsessed with the goddess Artemis (or Diana). Paul and his crew had told the Ephesians about the futility of idolatry and instructed them on the worship of the One True God (Jehovah), Creator of all things. The craftsmen of the city did not like Paul ruining business for them by telling the people that idols were worthless; they also did not appreciate some random, uninvited Jewish man entering their city and upstaging their goddess with talk of THE ONE TRUE GOD.

The craftsmen and the people of Ephesus were so obsessed with the goddess Diana that they rallied together in the local outdoor mega theater and shouted, “Great is Artemis (Diana) of the Ephesians” for two whole hours. Talk about tantrums – my kids usually stop screaming after about 20 minutes. These men and women did not stop for two whole hours. The Ephesians were blinded by their misplaced obsession which caused them to miss God’s message.

I feel like I am sometimes just like the Ephesians. I become obsessed and controlled by people, places, things, and ideas that are not THE ONE TRUE GOD. Sometimes, I am obsessed to the point where rational thought regarding these idols in my life is extremely unwelcome, even when I know God is speaking this TRUTH to me.

Why am I not obsessed with God the way I am with life and the things of this life? Why am I not shouting, “Great is THE One true God, Creator of All things”?

Questions for you to ponder or respond to:

  1. What has been God’s message to you this past week?
  2. What drives your obsessions?
  3. What are you obsessed about and how does it compete with the place of God in your life?
  4. How can Christians be obsessed with things of this life and not be obsessed with God?
One Comment leave one →
  1. Luray permalink
    May 1, 2012 1:53 pm

    Satan will use anything to distract us from God. Obsessions fall into two catagories. There are the embarrassing ones that we feel the need to hide because they break some rule, whether legal or moral. There are other obsessions that are pretty innocent, usually based on something that isn’t harmful…until it takes over. The hidden obsessions are hard to kick because they’re in the dark. No one to pray for us or hold us accountable. Plus we get the extra buzz of secrecy. The harmless obsessions are even harder to kick because they take on the appearance of justifiable, maybe even helpful. I think everyone has at least one of these obsessions and most people don’t pray about a “silly, little thing” like that. Plus if I acknowledge yours I may have to admit to mine. Satan loves “hidden” and “harmless” obsessions and will use whichever works with each person. There are people who might never fall into a criminal problem, or even a noticable moral one, but they could easily be trapped by overinvolvment in an organization or another person’s life or a hobby. My life tends to jump from one obsession to another. While I don’t think it’s wrong to get excited about life or our part in it, I do think it is much too easy to forget God in the process. We forget to praise Him, ask Him and listen to Him. We use every spare moment to follow our (usually pointless) obsession rather than focusing on the One who matters. I’m guilty. I think all of us are. Maybe the most helpful action is to remember the source of the distraction, how we feel about him and what it takes to defeat him. If someone hates you, wants the worst for you and hopes you live a defeated life, should you do what he says? What we need is awareness, immediate prayer and cooperation with God’s will. We need to pray for awareness, then ask God what He wants us to do, then ask Him for the strength to do it. While all of this prayer is helping us overcome our obsession it also allows us to grow closer to God and develope compassion for others. He’s such a multi-tasker.

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