9 You shall have no foreign god among you;
you shall not worship any god other than me.
10 I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 “But my people would not listen to me;
Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
to follow their own devices.
13 “If my people would only listen to me,
if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes!
Idolatry (verse 9) is at the root of our problems. God didn't bring the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and leave them there in the wilderness. He led them to the Promised Land. Likewise, God didn't just save us and free us from slavery to sin and death. God offers us an abundant life filled with fulfillment and purpose! Salvation is just the beginning.
Like the Israelites though, we tend to say to God, "Thanks for saving me," and go back to looking for life and fulfillment elsewhere. God is good, but I also need the new iPhone to be happy. God satisfies me, but I also need my boyfriend. It’s fulfilling to know God approves of me, but I also crave ‘likes’ on my Facebook or Instagram post. It’s interesting the things we try and pursue in addition to God, even though I think we know deep down that those things are all ultimately dead-ends. The phone will be outdated soon, your boyfriend will hurt you, and there will always be someone who gets more ‘likes’ or more followers. Those things aren't bad, but when they become as important or more important to us than God, they have become idols and idols create major problems.
A. W. Tozer spoke about this in his book, The Pursuit of God:
The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the "and" lies our great woe. If we omit the "and" we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.
Everything we have secretly longed for is found in God! And, God is crying out to us just as he cried out to the Israelites: Open wide your mouth and I will fill it!
God is longing to satisfy us, to reveal himself to us and defeat our enemies. He’s just waiting for us to omit the “and,” and choose to seek him alone.
Picture a water bottle filled with water and some big rocks.
You were made to carry God's presence, as the bottle was made to carry water. You can cry out to God, asking him to fill you and to reveal himself and to use you to carry his refreshing presence to those around you. But until you are emptied of the rocks, your "and" pursuits, your capacity is maxed. We are all desperate for the Holy Spirit to reveal the rocks in our lives, and to give us the strength to remove them so he can have all of us and we can experience his fullness.
I want to experience God in his fullness. Don't you?
God, reveal the rocks to us. Reveal the things we’re pursuing for pleasure and fulfillment in addition to you. And, show us what it looks like to lay them down and put you first. We want more of you. We want you to fill us completely. Amen.