Does anything else replace God in your heart?
“Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.” Proverbs 7:25-27 NIV
The “her” spoken of in Proverbs 7 is a worldly adulteress actively seeking to lead her victims astray. For Christians, adultery against the Lord is anything our hearts becomes entangled with, anything that replaces our desire for him.
The Bible is full of examples of those who were brought down by things they desired more than God. It began with Adam and Eve, who chose to listen to the enticing lies of Satan instead of what God promised. Esau gave up his inheritance for a bowl of stew. The children of Israel repeatedly rebelled and chose other gods over Yahweh. In so doing, they broke their promise to be faithful only to him. Sometimes the sin was literal adultery, as with David and Bathsheba. In each case the result was the same: separation from God with dire consequences.
The Bible often refers to the relationship between the body of Christ and the Lord in terms of a marriage. The vows of marriage represent a covenant – a promise to be exclusively faithful to each other. When we trade our affection for Jesus for what the world has to offer, we break that promise. Yet, amazingly, he remains faithful to us no matter how much we break his heart. 2 Timothy 2:13 says even when we are faithless, he remains faithful because he cannot deny himself.
Scripture tells us God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:23-24) but this isn’t the kind of negative jealousy we think of, that controls or seeks revenge. The word also means “zealous”. His love for us is one of zealous vigilance that will pursue us and do whatever is necessary to protect our covenant relationship with him. He demonstrated the depth of his love by dying on the cross for us and securing the promise of eternal life.
Our heavenly Father says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Take time today to express your love to the Lord and thank him for his zealous faithfulness.