In part one we discovered we get our value from what we worship. In part 2 I showed that we assess others value based on what we worship. In part 3 we see that our value should come from God. But what do we do when we are "Christian" but still don't know how to get our value from God?
We all measure our self worth with something. We get to pick the measure. Just like there are metric and imperial units of measure there are different systems of measuring self worth. Some people measure their worth based on wether others accept and applaud their behavior. Others use the measure of performance.
- Bank account
These are all metrics people use to measure self worth. So how do we change our "Ruler?"
In ancient Egypt the unit used to build the pyramids was the Royal Cubit. It was the measure from the inner crease of the Pharaoh's elbow to the tip of his middle finger. The "Ruler" they used as a measure was literally from their Ruler or Pharaoh.
Whatever ruler we choose to measure ourselves with will "Rule" over us.
In Samuel there is a story of Saul the king. Years before Saul became king God's people Israel struggled to escape slavery in Egypt and journey through the desert to the Land God had promised them. Along the way a descendant of Jacobs brother named Amalek attacked the children of Israel. Israel survived with causalities. After the battle God vowed to "Utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." So years latter when Saul is made king one of his first missions from God is to wipe out the people of Amalek now called the "Amalekites".
I Samuel 15: 1 And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction[a] all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’
Don't mess with God's kids. It won't go good for you. Saul is now supposed to be acting as God's representative. Saul is supposed to rule the people as God rules Saul. Saul's Ruler is supposed to be God. But when Saul gets to the Amalekites he destroys all the "worthless" stuff and saves the king & the best of the cattle and possessions.
God tells the profit Samuel "I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments." When Saul is confronted by Samuel, Saul says "Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” Saul goes on to explain the plan is to sacrifice the animals they saved to God.
And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”
God is not worshiped by words alone. God is worshiped by obedience.
Jesus said it like this:
"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love."
God never stops loving us. But we can remove ourselves from his constant love by chasing other "Rulers". God was not Saul's Ruler. If God were Saul's Ruler than Saul would have done whatever God told him to do. This choice was all Saul's to make.
We like to blame God for ruling poorly even though we haven't followed his rules.
I sometimes chase after performance and applause. Then when I'm depressed and empty from not exceeding expectations, or being appreciated enough I'll cry out to God to "Help me through it". "God help me through this rough patch as I worship this other god." I'm sure that's what it sounds like.
The only way for God to rule in our hearts is to follow his rules.
It has nothing to do with earning God's love. It has everything to do with experiencing God's love. God is love. It is his character to love. God can not stop loving. Saying God is withholding his love from us because we don't do what he says is like saying Florida is withholding it's weather from us because It doesn't like where we live. If you want to experience Florida weather you have to move to Florida. If you want to experience God's love you have to move to God. He has already moved toward you by sacrificing his only Son to provide the way back to His love.
To get your self worth from God he must be the only "Ruler" in your heart. For God to be the "Ruler" in your heart you have to follow His rules.