What have you traded God for?
Many of us will read that question and quickly answer “nothing”. But is that true? Psalm 106:19-22
Although we like to shake our “no-no” fingers at the Israelite’s actions toward God’s mercy after crossing the Red Sea, we do exactly what they did. Possibly even daily. I remember studying the Israelites’ journey across the Red Sea and legit throwing my hands in the air doing the “have you lost your mind?” face at the thought of them complaining about not having water or food not long after walking across an entire sea untouched. U N T O U C H E D ! WHAT?! How in the world could you go through an experience like that then turn around and feel like God had abandoned you…for bare necessities?! BRUH!
It wasn’t long into my mental rant that God told me – THAT’S YOU TOO.
Uuuuuh, what? Not me! I’d never do that!
Then He called to my remembrance a few of my “red sea” experiences. Times when I was sure I’d be swallowed up emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially or all four – but I wasn’t. Only to walk away from those experiences and complain, pout, and feel like God had abandoned me because I got an unexpected flat tire that took up way too much of my spending money for the week. (True story – and yes, I’m embarrassed about it. 😂)
It was definitely one of those subtle gut punches that makes you lift your hands and say “my bad God, my bad”.
Side note: He’s so dope at helping you self reflect. But it only works if you’re open to listening.
So, back to the question…what have you traded God for?
Looking at the scripture, we see the Israelites traded God for a golden bull.
Psalm 106:20 – they traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
Seems pretty stupid, right? I’m pretty sure “grass-eating” was entered for emphasis on how ridiculous their new god was. The Israelites were complaining about not having food but are now bowing to something that eats off the ground! This bull had no ability to provide anything they needed and definitely wouldn’t have been able to save them from an entire Egyptian army. In reality, their new god was beneath them. – Genesis 1:26. It was a bull, all dressed up in gold – gloried/magnified/and amplified in their minds – with absolutely no real power. GET THAT! It was a bull, all dressed up in gold – gloried/magnified/and amplified in their minds – with absolutely no real power. SOMEBODY QUESE THE ORGANIST, PLEASE!
So last time…what have you traded God for?
Maybe it’s not a physical golden bull. Maybe it’s a job, companion, friend, or title. Maybe it’s nothing tangible or intentional. Maybe it’s fear, doubt, self pity, or worry. Maybe it’s a past mistake or failure or the [imagined] comfort of remaining the victim to a situation that happened a long time ago. Whatever it is, it’s still…bull – all dressed up and glorified in your mind. It has no power. It can never heal you, never change you, never protect or save you. In fact, where was that bull when you were facing your “red sea”?
Today, I pray that you call out and let go of the bull. Make a decision and a daily effort to stop bowing to this glorified image that (because of WHO’S you are) is beneath you! It may not be an easy thing to do because some of us have lived in the imagined comfort of “bull” for quite a while. But it’s time to stop letting it replace the One with real power. It’s time to let God be great.