DayBreaks for 07/31/13 – On Hummingbirds and Freedom
Luke 12:13 (NLT) Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
The background to today’s verse was a younger brother who was upset about the distribution of his father’s estate. As the younger brother, he’d get only half of what the elder brother received. This didn’t sit well with this young man. Such disputes have torn families apart for millennia – tragically!
I read recently about a family that put up a hummingbird feeder with four feeding stations. In a matter of a few minutes it became immensely popular with the hummingbirds that lived in the area. Two, three, or even four birds would feed at one time. The feeder would be refilled at least once a day.
Then, seemingly without warning, the usage decreased nearly overnight to almost nothing. The family found it necessary to fill the feeder only about once a week. The reason for the change soon became apparent: a male hummingbird had taken over the feeder as his property. He was now the only hummingbird who used it. He would feed to his heart’s content and then sit in a nearby tree, rising to attack any bird that even approached his feeder. Guard duty occupied his every waking hour. He was an effective guard. The only time another bird got to use the feeder was when the self-appointed owner was momentarily gone to chase away an intruder.
That hummingbird can teach us a very valuable and much needed lesson. By choosing to assume ownership of the feeder, he surrendered his freedom. He was no longer free to come and go as he wished. He was tied to the work of guarding his feeder, his STUFF, constantly lest some other bird should get some of it and he’d have less. He was possessed by his possession.
The simple truth is that the more we have, the less freedom we have. I don’t think any human ever lived who knew more freedom than Jesus…and he had a cloak and sandals and that was it.
Our hearts need changing because we’ve believed Satan when he whispers to us that we’ll be happier if we only get this-or-that. Satan has erected those things as idols in our lives…and he’s really good at building idols that cause us to bow the knee.
Jesus wants to set us free not just from dead, but from idol worship. He wants to change our wants. He wishes to change our wishes. He desires to change our desires.
PRAYER: Lord, I confess that I am still too much in love with “things” that possess my heart, and I love the “things” I have too much. Gently, change my heart to want that relationship with you more than anything else in this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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