When things go well we tend to forget about God

Did you ever notice that we are more likely to call upon God when things are not going as well as we are accustomed to?  When the sun is shining, when the temperature is perfect we tend to bask in the sun and plan fun things with friends.  But when we are sick, or the weather is horrible, or the threat of a natural disaster looms we are more likely to think and pray to God for protection or help.

You are not alone!  It is human nature to tend to do that.  Our sinful nature tends to forget God in good times.  In those time we often think we’ve got things under control.  We’re handling things just fine on our own.  In Deuteronomy, God warned the Israelites about this.  During the forty years in the wilderness He met their needs day by day and they knew they depended on Him.  There was no food or water otherwise.  However, as they came near to the Promised Land, God counseled them about the dangers of prosperity.  The Promised Land had abundant water, food, and all the resources they needed.  He knew they would thank Him for taking them there and for all they had.  But He also knew that their attitude would change as they got used to all they had and that they would feel they had things under control and withdraw from their closeness to God.

For me the relevant passage is:

10When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.  11Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.  12Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  15He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.  16He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.  17You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”  18But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

19If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.  20Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.  (Deuteronomy 8:10-20)

As I’ve drawn closer to God I’ve become more aware of my behavior and my tendencies and I am learning to guard against them by intentionally remembering God’s answers to prayers and how He has provided for us. I am also more careful to recognize that my abilities and my talents all come from God.  It is a journey but now I am careful to keep my eyes on the prize and not to veer off.

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