Proverbs can be a hard book for me to read in a couple ways. First, there doesn’t seem to me to be a flow. In one chapter you can jump around in various themes. For example, in one verse you read about the tongue, in the next money, the next laziness, and then back to the tongue. Second, sometimes it’s hard to see how a concept applies to me.
The latter made an impact with me recently. In this book of wisdom, the author talks in several places about the adulterer and their ways. Being a married woman I have never gone after someone other than my husband. I also know like everyone else, I am susceptible to it if I am not using wisdom and discernment.
I went on a walk one morning and prayed. I proceeded to tell God I have no idea how to apply chapter 5 of Proverbs to my life. Be careful what you say to God. The Spirit spoke to my heart. “How about the idols in your life?”
The Old Testament is full of stories about Israel exchanging God for idols. I’ve even mentioned it in past blogs.
He continued, “Lately you have consistently chosen things before Me. You have committed adultery by running to them as if they will fix things, bring satisfaction or fill a void. Sometimes you to go to them out of habit, and other times you make a deliberate choice. Yet in the end the situation isn’t better or changing, and you still feel empty, just like one who is cheating on the spouse. It satisfies in the short term but in the long run, it causes strife within you and it comes out to affect others.”
I realized that the things of this world can and will seduce me away from the God who loves me unconditionally, who seeks my best always, who stands by my side through struggles and heartaches. The best part is He is ready to fight for me.
God has a plan for me. He desires a relationship with me that is like no other. When I run to the arms of the world and all it offers in the way of stress relief, problem solving, comfort, peace, joy, love and the list can go on, instead of turning to God, I am committing spiritual adultery.
Some may say that’s far-fetched. Is it? I am considered the bride of Christ (Revelations 19:7) along with all those who belong to the “church body”. If Scripture is correct and I believe it is, when I put God where He belongs at the center of my life, I’m faithful, when I don’t I’m not.
It’s not easy to hear. When I realized this, it became depressing to think about. But praise the Lord, there is reconciliation when I confess what I have done, and acknowledge it as sin. Then turn from it and return to my first love. (Revelation 2:4-5). Like the prophet Hosea reconciled with his prostitute wife, God will be reconciled to me and that reconnection is unlike anything else in the world.
“Adulteress! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.”
James 4:4 (HCSB)