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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace


Who Is Your God?



Every day we passed her -- Ken and I, and our new little adopted son. The little girl couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 years old. She was painfully thin. Each time we passed her, I would wince as I gazed at her -- bony arms and legs; dirty, matted hair -- shoulder length, with little waves throughout. She had beautiful dark skin and almond eyes, but the grime of the street shone across every exposed part of her skin. And her little cotton dress was filthy.


She just sat there in the street, next to her mother. The grown woman wore a hopeless expression -- one of despair and anger. She sat slumped, holding a tin cup -- begging for a few coins to provide for her and her daughter. Or sometimes she just slept, leaning her head down on her chest, or sprawling against the dirty street.


But not the little girl! She was unsinkable! Though pitiful-looking on the outside, her spirit soared within her. She was always singing. Before we even rounded the corner and headed toward her particular street in Bangkok, I would hear her little voice singing words I could not understand. And she had a pet -- a dog that sat faithfully beside her.


I made it a point to smile at her as we would walk by every day. But she rarely met my smile. She was oblivious to her situation, oblivious to the passers-by as she sat next to her mother, with a song on her lips, and hope in her eyes -- a hope unfulfilled.


One day as we passed, I noticed a storeowner had given her a serving of rice, wrapped in paper. Eagerly, she was unwrapping it. I watched her to see what she would do. With her little brown hand, she found the middle of the serving. She portioned out the rice evenly. Her mother was sleeping beside her. With barely a glance at her mother, she showed her dog the extra portion. Together, they eagerly devoured their portions of rice.


Oh, precious Thai mother, where is your god now? Daily you bow to him, lighting incense in the temple. Faithfully, you sit in honor of him, worshipping the golden images of a smiling god with empty eyes. Don't you see? You cry to him, but he has no ears to hear you. No voice to speak a word of comfort. Buddha is dead. He cannot help you. He doesn't love you or your little girl. He cannot help to fill the void that you have plunged into -- the void of despair, of hopelessness. The god of your parents is no god at all.


Must your singing child be pushed into the void of hell as well?


Standing on the streets in a small village in Mexico, I watched, horrified, as an old man crawled painfully on his knees up the stone street. His gaze was fixed in front of him, on the old Catholic edifice at the end of the street. Blood oozed from his knees, staining the street meaninglessly. He was in pain, I could tell, but he kept on, shredding skin with every step -- hands clasped together, as if in prayer, and murmuring to himself.


My young heart ached at his misery.


"Shouldn't we help him?" I asked. "He can't walk alone -- look, he's crawling -- and he's torn his knees up from the journey. Let's ask him where he needs to go."


"No, this is his choice," came the response. "He is doing his penance. He has sinned and hopes that God will possibly forgive him if he crawls to the church on his knees. He has probably been traveling like this for many miles."


Precious old man, where is your god now? Who is this god of judgment? What god do you serve that demands outward acts of despair and torment for his own appeasement? And where is your remorse? Is it falling with your blood upon the dirty street, only to dry and fade away in days to come?


It's true, you can't walk alone...and this god of ceremony and tradition is not real. This god is but a shadow of the true God -- its darkness was created through Satan's deception -- and from the feeble attempts of man to reach a holy God. But you will never reach Him in this way. You will only find empty prayers and a barren heart. It's only dead religion.


As I passed by the Jewish men on the streets of Jerusalem, I looked into their angry, empty eyes. Often they would mutter to me as they walked by -- words of hate and judgment.


Oh chosen ones, where is your God now? How He cried for you years ago, gazing over your city. The God of the Universe is here, but who is your god? A god of sternness and pride has built an idol around your city. The enemy laughs as he deceives you into but a blind existence. Awaken! You are so loved of God! Does your persecution not point to Satan's indignance over God's devotion to you?


Your observance of the law is dead without belief in a Messiah who came first to you.


As I watch her children play, I see my neighbor, robed in darkness, peeking through the restrictions of her religion from the doorway of her home. Her children barely notice me, and she avoids my gaze. Oh, precious woman, you are a creation of God! You are a jewel in His sight, meant to shine before the world as the individual that you are.


Where is your god now? Does he exist in your loneliness, in your subservience? Who is he? Mohammed is dead, and the god you worship is an evil fantasy of inconsistencies and deception. Your Creator loves you! He IS love. For no reason would He desire your death, or seek to reward those whose goal is to destroy. It is Satan who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).


Unveil! Tear off the blinders that Satan has so slyly applied. The true God is truly visible -- He has no secrets within! He wishes to reveal all to you, His beloved child. His arms are open wide to receive anyone who embraces His Son.


As I enter some churches today, I look around at the faces in the pews -- those in front, those behind. Quietness fills the sanctuary -- not in an attitude of worship -- but there is boredom, there is distraction, and meaningless routine. Apathy is the mask that most are wearing.


Oh, fellow brothers and sisters, where is your God now? Who is your god? What stands between you and the passion of the One who sticks closer than a brother?


Even empty devotion can become an idol -- stealing the glory from the One who is deserving.


Look around. Other nations may break God's law, but we are also a nation with many idols. We may not sacrifice our children to an iron god of long ago, but we do sacrifice our unborn babies to the god of inconvenience. We sacrifice our children through apathy to the gods of laziness and culture and self-absorption and entertainment.


We bow to the idols of selfishness, sleep, pride, tolerance, and financial security.


We serve many masters, neglecting the Master who is most worthy -- who calms the sick, heals diseases, teaches the lame to walk, and the blind to see.


You have a God who loves you so much, who sees you, and hears you, and reaches out to you.


Do you know Him? Is He your first love?


Who is your God?


You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything
in heaven above
or on the earth beneath
or in the waters below.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,
punishing the children for the sin of the fathers
to the third and forth generation of those who hate me,
but showing love to a thousand generations
of those who love me
and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20:4-6






Copyright 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com

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