John chapter 6 describes a group of people who were following Jesus but who had changed: in verse 2 they were following Him because they saw the signs that He was a man of God, but by verse 26 they were following Him for food alone. “And a great multitude was following Him, because they were seeing the signs which He was performing on those who were sick… Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” ” John 6:2 and 26 (NASV)
It is common to receive the blessings of the Lord and turn them into idols. When I have done this, God is not looking for me to get rid of the blessing because I have idolized it, no, He wants me to have the blessing He gave, and now He wants me to stop idolizing it.
I have the Holy Spirit and His help, so I am able to respond to the reproof and be corrected: no longer idolizing God’s gift, but rejoicing in it as I worship the Giver only. God does not give me gifts so that I will fast of them, and He does not give me gifts that I become a glutton concerning them. He gives gifts that I may enjoy them together with Him, glad for His goodness.
We have been gifted freedom in Christ and we do not use it as a license to sin. We are not free apart from faith, and we are not free to offend a weaker brother. But we are more free than we can imagine: we are so free that it must be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in order for us to believe it.
Before I retired I was turning retirement into an idol: all my decisions were influenced by my considerations of how they would effect my retirement, good or bad. God corrected me and I believed the correction, all of a sudden I was free to go to Trinidad with my wife as missionaries. Now I am free to write the love and joy and peace I am receiving. These things are lovely, pure, and true.
Thank you for your kindness Father. Thank you for your deliverance Jesus. And thank you Spirit, for leading me into understanding.