Isn’t God brilliant? By that I mean that He knows us so well that He knows what we need in order to keep our focus on the right things. Israel had demonstrated at Sinai that even a redeemed nation needs God constantly. The unholy chaos that Moses returned to from the mountain top shows us that without God in our lives things can get out of control very rapidly. For the Hebrew people that meant creating an idol to worship in the shape of a golden calf instead of the God who had led them out of slavery in Egypt. How quickly the memory of a momentous event like that can fade.
For us it might mean something entirely different. Our attention gets absorbed by all manner of things that weren’t available to the Jews in Moses’ time. Sex, TV, shopping, gambling, drugs, alcohol, pornography, food, status, power and influence all spring to mind as things that can become our golden calves to us if we let them.
God’s response to that was to institute a system through Moses where the centre of Jewish life was God. So the tabernacle was designed, materials were appropriated, it was built and a routine of worship and offerings was established. God was firmly placed back in the centre of the Hebrew world once again.
The point is that if we don’t build God into the very fabric of our lives we run the risk of wandering away from Him. It’s the same principle as overcoming anything unhealthy in life. If something good needs to be our habit we need to make it our habit. I remember when my children were very little, reading a book by Rob Parsons where he said book your children into your diary or you’ll inadvertently book them out. The same applies to God. If we don’t book Him in we book Him out. In a parallel way if we find ourselves straying beyond the bounds of a healthy weight the first habit to adopt is to stop buying the foods that allow us to over eat and to add in a regime of exercise in order to redress the balance. The same applies to giving up smoking or drinking we start the process by ceasing the purchase of the offending substance. With God we must build Him into our daily routine or we effectively block Him out.
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Lord God, thank you that You are always ready to be at the centre of life. Help me to find ways to book You into my daily routines. Fill me again with Your presence and help me to always look to You. Amen.