Have you ever discovered the paradox that it is easier to serve God when everything is messed up, shattered, and completely dismantled? There is something about serving God through the brokenness that God tends to feel so much closer to us. I have experienced a broken time where I depended on God and a broken time where I tried to not depend on God. The former, God carried me through, and I have never been closer to Him than through that time. The latter, I was miserable and mad at God, and though I learned a valuable lesson, I didn’t feel God like I did before. In general though, if we love and serve God whole-heartedly, than there is an intimacy that happens when we share our brokenness with the Lord.
I have also found that it is easy to not serve God in the plenty, in the good times. It is easy to forget that we depend on God. It is easy to forget that He is good. It is easy to forget that all we have is only a product of God’s blessings and favor. It is easy to forget that God picked us up out of our miry clay, our mess, and filth, and has washed us, set us free, and given us a firm foundation. It is easy to forget that the God, who created all the heavens and earth, the stars, galaxies, planets, suns, and moons, who painted the sunsets and formed the mountains, ardently, relentlessly, unconditionally loves and pursues US! When life is well, it is easy to forget God.
Moses knew that this was true of human nature. As he was dying and giving his last warnings to Israel, he said the following:
But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery int he land of Egypt. –Deuteronomy 8:11-14 NLT, emphasis added
When we forget God, it is so easy to slip into a sin cycle that brings us to a brokenness before the Lord again. So like God, through Moses, commanded the Israelites, we must wear God’s word on our hands and heads, however I don’t think that is literal today. I don’t mean to put a box of God’s word on your forehead or to fill your body with scripture tattoos. I mean we need to put in places where we will see it often and remember to serve God daily. We need to hide His word in our hearts and in our minds. Put a scripture on your mirror or on sticky notes throughout your house. Do whatever it takes for you to remember as much as possible that God is for you, that He is good, that He has saved you, that He has blessed you, that His mercies are new every morning. And give thanks always!