As we look at relationships in September, where better to start than with the one relationship that captures our heart above all else? All of our relationships are impacted by the one who follow, become like, and obey. I've watched women bow down to worship other gods, idols made of wood or plaster or metal. Gals like me shake our heads and genuinely feel sad to see people trust in things that are products of man's hands. But we all choose a god; not all choose the God.
When Paul visited Athens, he was astounded by the number of gods in the city. When I was there this summer, I seconded Paul's amazement and pondered how the gods have and have not changed as I carefully ascended the steps up Mars Hill where Paul spoke. I had the privilege of reading his words to the group I was with, and his words are right on target today, as they were then, for describing my God:
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
We all choose someone to love and to follow. Who is your God?
When Ruth was presented with the choice to stay or leave her homeland of Moab or go with her despondent mother-in-law back to Israel, we read that she not only chose to be loyal to Naomi, but she also chose Naomi's God. She said, "Your people will be my people and your God my God."
Ruth had seen Naomi's faith compared to that of the people she grew up with, people who gave offerings to statues of wood and stone. She chose a new God, and her life was totally changed. Every woman chooses a god. Some choose the god of things, the god of outward beauty, the god of education, the god of finances, the god of information, the god of prestige, or the god of relationships. If we choose the God Paul described, it changes our lives as it changed Ruth's:
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent."
But now ... He expects us to act like His offspring, like women who have a relationship with the God who is all powerful, knows us intimately, and is completely holy. Every other relationship in our lives looks different, if He is the God we choose. Who is your god, and what difference is it making?