In this Sunday sermon, I want to take on a challenging topic – challenging for me, personally, that is!
In recent days, I’ve posted about living in faith, rather than living in fear. When I am living in fear, I am focused on the external – what I might lose. When I am living in faith, the focus is internal, on my beingness and enoughness with Spirit.
Today’s lectionary readings come from Deuteronomy 30: 15-20 and Luke 14:25-33. And the question in both passages is very simple:
Which God do you serve?
- Are you constantly worried and focusing on money or the lack thereof?
- Or maybe you are focused on your problems, thinking on them constantly.
- Does your work and job rule your life?
- Do your mother or father get placed above all other things?
- Perhaps it’s your wife and children that come first in your life.
- Maybe you serve the rules and law – the commandments. Has the Bible replaced God in your life?
- Are you worried about your reputation, others in the church, making sure that you serve Christianity or leadership?
If we consider for a moment, the first of the Ten Commandments, as found in Exodus 20:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
I prefer the version of this as found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
In the past two years, I have come to a new understanding of what “God” means and is – the Omnipotence, Omniscience and Omnipresence. I am particularly intrigued by the Rotherham translation of Yahweh –
… the meaning of the Hebrew name YHWH – God’s name – is “the Self-existent,” “He who becometh,” or “the becoming one.”“Why did God call himself I am that I am?
The Hebrew words in Exodus 3:14 for “I AM THAT I AM” are ehyeh asher ehyeh which should more accurately be translated “I will be what I will be”
God – the self-existent – the all-encompassing – the I will be what I will be. Butterworth describes this acknowledgement of the existence of God as:
To have no other gods before THE ONE is to have the awareness of the allness of God.
No other God: which idols do you serve?
It is only when I begin to see God in everything and as everything that I can truly have no idols. I can stop worshiping my problems or challenges, and I can stop begging the “God out there” to please, please, please save me.
Instead, I can simply turn inward to align with the Power that already exists within my allness.
One of my biggest challenges in overcoming “graven images” has been in my understanding of what the Bible is as “the Word of God”. I admit, the way that I believed in the Bible – I had created an idol! I rules and regulations to replace relationship and connection.
Another type of idol that I have struggled with is when I make my problems bigger than my God. I focus all my time, energy and emotions on “how bad this is” and visualizing and imagining all the terrible things that will happen. As if situations were truly bigger than the allness of being!
Butterworth explains this in the following words:
What you acknowledge to be your master, to that you are a servant.
So – what is your master? What guides and leads you? What do you base your decisions on, especially when you are stressed and struggling? That is your master.
Where is your attention focused?
No matter what relationships you have – whether that be your parents, your spouse or even your children – your first loyalty must be to the divine flow within… and to let God BE God in you.
So, when Jesus says “none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions” in Luke 14:33, he’s not talking about the physical divesting of assets. He’s talking about taking your trust and faith out of the material and into the Spiritual Source of All.
Think of this in the following manner.
Imagine God as a spring of water, high up in the mountains.
That spring of water feeds down through a stream into a lake, and your town gets their water supply from the lake. If the lake gets polluted, you have lost your channel of receiving water.
However, you haven’t actually lost the Source of your water.
So, if you imagine that your job is your present supply of abundance and security, and you lose your job – you have simply lost the channel through which you have received your supply of abundance and security. Nonetheless, the Source of your abundance and security remains fully intact.
Perhaps the source of your love and affection is your family. But have you stopped to consider that really the Source of Love is Divine Love, and your family is simply the channel through which you experience it? When you look at your family or loved ones – can you see Divine Love channeled through them?
Can you see God when you look at another person, no matter who they are? Do they get to experience you as a channel of Divine Love?
As we breathe in, we come into contact with the Spirit of God, the Breath of Life:
But truly it is the spirit in a mortal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding. Take a long, hard look. See how great the Source of All is—infinite, greater than anything you could ever imagine or figure out!
“The Breath of Life pulls water up out of the sea, distills it, and fills up rain-cloud as if they were cisterns. Then the skies open up and pour out soaking showers on everyone. Does anyone have the slightest idea how this happens?
How does Divine Mind arrange the clouds? Just look at that lightning, a sky-filling light show illumining the dark depths of the sea! These are merely small symbols of the Creator’s sovereignty, generosity, loving care.”
“Where were you when the Supreme Force that animates all creation laid the foundations of the earth? Do you know how the dimensions of this planet were determined, and who did the surveying? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together with the angels?
“Have you ever once commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you ever told the daylight to spread to the ends of the earth? Can you find its boundaries, or go to its source?
“Has the rain a father? Where does dew come from? Who is the mother of the ice and frost? Can you hold back the stars? Can you restrain Orion or Pleiades? Can you ensure the proper sequence of the seasons, or guide the constellation of the Bear with her satellites across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe and how the heavens influence the earth?”
God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
Incomparable & Unnamable, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, Divine Wisdom, you know it altogether.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
for darkness is as light with you.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O Infinite Goodness!
How vast is the sum of them!
I awake, and I am still with you
What is greater than this?
Which of your problems is greater than what I have just described? Are you willing to hand over your problems – like sacrifices upon an altar – to this unfathomable Wisdom & Love?
What change do you need to experience today in order to comprehend that you have all of this within you, not separate from you? God is everywhere – not just in Church or in Heaven. In the air you breathe, in your heart, in your brain, in your feet, in your blood, in each cell of your body … in you. At the same time, the Creator is in the birds of the air, in the fish of the sea, in a blade of grass, and in the earth.
The only thing that separates us from God, is the mistaken idea we have that somehow we are separate and independent. That is simply what sin is – the mistaken belief that somehow you exist separate from Divine Love. That somehow you can remain and live in separation from all that is – anything less than Oneness and Allness.
How can you possibly be separate and independent from:
So – taking us back to the question we started today from Deuteronomy: What are you choosing today? Who will you serve?
Will you choose life?
 Butterworth, Eric MetaMorality: A metaphysical approach to the Ten Commandments Unity Books, Unity Village MO, 1988 p.3.
5 thoughts on “Which God do you serve?”
Excellent post! This is something I struggle with daily. I have to stop and get into God’s Word to bring myself back to understanding that God is over all. He is the one I choose to serve. He is bigger than any problem I may face! Thank you for sharing!
I wish I could see past the fear of not being able to provide over and over again for myself and my family. I just cannot when they are sick and need medical attention and no funds are available year after year. We should not be come a constant burden on those around us.
Maybe for some of us we are destined to suffer in spite of what we do and believe.
I truly pray that is not the case.
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