Not long ago, I met a young lady from Uganda. She was on a fellowship in Washington, DC. Naturally, I inquired about her stay and wanted to know how much she was enjoying this great country of mine. I understood her being homesick but was quite shocked when she said, “I don’t like it.” In my mind and probably in my demeanor, I thought “Is she serious? You’re from a developing country and look at all of the great stuff we have here.” I was beginning to become a bit defensive. Supporting her statement, she went on to explain that she didn’t like the people in the USA. I decided to hear her out although my mouth had plenty to say. She told me about her travels and schooling in Europe and described the differences. “Europeans,” she said, are very reserved when they first meet you but as time goes on they warm up to you and are very hospitable.” She went on to explain that the converse is true in the USA. When she first arrived, the people she worked with were very inviting and did many things to make her feel welcome; however, as time went on, the invitations were few and she felt incredibly lonely in this new country.
I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest… Jeremiah 2:1-3 NIV
I could understand her and thought back to my experiences at new jobs across the country. Not only had I experienced it but in some ways, I was also a perpetrator. I was reminded that this is often our classic behavior with God. You know when we are first saved or spiritually renewed; we invite Him wherever we go. We commit meaningful time to talk to Him daily. We make Him feel welcome in our lives. Sadly, as time goes on, we go back to our old ways and begin to treat him as a secondary in our lives. That daily devotional time is minimized. We stop seeking His guidance and instead begin to shift our behavior and seek the guidance of others. Such was the case with the children of Israel in the book of Jeremiah. They were once devoted to God but over time they turned back to their old ways. Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. Jeremiah 2:11 We begin to worship and commit to those things that are not God-like. Think about all of the things that you replace God with. The person you are now is not the person He once knew.
I encourage you to try harder each day to be the person that God wants you to be. Spend quality time with Him and remember He should be numero uno on the guest list.
Thank You for being a friend to me even when I have not shown myself friendly to You. Forgive me for changing and neglecting our relationship because I’ve become “comfortable” with You. I am reminded by Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Help me to be more like You. Help me to be a new creature not the same one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today, I EMPOWER you to take a look in the mirror and examine yourself. Is God pleased with your relationship? Is it just a routine? Think about what changes you can make that are pleasing to Him. Always make Him feel welcome in your life.
What idols are you entertaining in your life and what are some things God is calling you to do to get back in fellowship with Him?
Read a Related EmpowerMoment: The Illusion of a Self-Made Woman
Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”