Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Cost of a Mocha

Easter was two weeks ago, which means Lent has been over for quite a while. I had originally given up coffee for the Lenten season and I'm so glad I did. Looking back I can see how I had used coffee as a crutch at times when I hadn't slept well (in fact, I'm sure there were times when I stayed up late knowing I could just have a mocha the next day to keep me going) and also as a means of excessive pleasure (I had slowly developed my habit into a drink nearly every day). I'm sure there are people out there who drink more coffee than I do, but for me I simply wasn't comfortable knowing it had that much power over me. That's the thing right there - it had power because I had submitted my power to it. I had stopped ruling it and let it rule over me. That's why I decided to give it up for Lent.

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Fast forward two weeks to today. You may be wondering why I'm still talking about it now that it's been over for some time. Let me tell you that just because Lent had ended didn't mean that coffee had lost all of its power. On the Monday after Easter, a thought crept into my mind: Now that Lent is over, you can have coffee again! Let's celebrate by having a nice, chocolatey drink... Can you see what was going on here? Despite having gone without coffee for 40 days, it still had a hold on me. In fact, it wasn't really the coffee's fault at all if I'm being honest. The truth is that my heart had made coffee an idol in place of God.

That may sound trite to you, but if you take the time to look at it you'll see that this is idolatry and it happens more than we are even aware of. Remember, the human heart is innately sinful and desires to worship something so when it is not actively focused on and worshiping God, it is worshiping something else and that is idolatry. When I realized this, I immediately repented and asked God to restore my desire for Him alone. I had to bring my sin into the light and admit to God that I desired coffee over Him. When you put it like that, it sounds pretty sick, doesn't it? This, my friend, is the human heart and exactly why we need Jesus so desperately.

I thank God for revealing to me the true nature of my heart and protecting me from falling right back into sin. He showed me through the Lenten season that I don't need coffee; I need Him. There were times when I was tired, yes, but in those difficult times I sought Him and He rescued me. Faithfully. There were also times when I just wanted something fun, but again I sought Him and was satisfied. Completely. My soul drank of the water He offers and it created a spring inside of me that flowed abundantly - more abundantly than any specialty drink made by Starbucks ever could.
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I still haven't had any coffee. I'm not sure I want to; in fact, I'm downright afraid to. Every time I consider the idea, I fear the idolatry in my heart rising from its slumber with evil eyes, preparing to devour me again. I like my Peppermint Mochas (even outside of Christmas season), but God has shown me that the price is not just a few dollars. Without watchful eyes on my heart and complete dependence upon Him, it may cost me my soul. That's a price I'm not willing to pay.

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