Praying to the Heater God
by Laura MacCorkle
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20, NIV
A portable space heater comes in handy this time of year.
I’ve got one in my home office that I place right in front of my feet, while I’m paying bills or working on something at my desk. No sooner have I flipped the switch to “on,” then my two cats suddenly “appear” and are sitting very close to it.
I don’t know how their little noses don’t get burned, but I guess they know their own heat tolerance better than I do. They will generally sit in front of the heater until I turn it off... meaning, they never tire from taking in the irresistible warmth that makes them feel so good.
They practically worship the heater. And so when they sit there, I say that they’re “praying to the heater god.” Because that’s what it looks like: down on all fours (almost prostrate), eyes closed (for better concentration and devotion), and focus directed toward the source of their (temporary) satisfaction.
This scenario got me to thinking one day about what I worship:What are the “heater gods” in my life? What things am I so dangerously close to that can burn me? And what’s interfering with my devotion to the one, true God?
Well, I didn’t have to think too long or look too far. I glanced around my office and saw some catalogs for department stores lying around. Then, I looked a little further and saw my jam-packed calendar. Just beyond that, my treadmill. And then there was my little television positioned strategically so I can see it while working out.
So, in that one little space in my home, I’ve got the false gods of materialism, achievement, appearance and entertainment all grouped together. But hey, my several Bibles and a couple of commentaries and Bible study books are there on my bookshelf, too. So just the very fact that I have these should help to cancel out the false gods, right?
I’d like to think so. But truth is they don’t. Since I don’t know my own “heat tolerance” as it were, I need to constantly gauge my levels in light of God’s Word. And that means I need to constantly be exposing myself to the true God by reading those Bibles, books and commentaries, spending time in study, being in fellowship with other believers, using my spiritual gifts and so forth.
I think the fourth verse from the great hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” details my constant struggle the best:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
We’re all prone to wander and to leave the God we should love. It is a daily battle, and it is only by his grace—his irresistible grace—that our minds can stay on him. May he continue to work in our hearts and draw us unto himself.
Intersecting Faith & Life: What are the false gods in your life? Ask God to help you resist anything that challenges your devotion to him.
1 Chron. 16:11-12