18 Many of those who had become believers were coming… 19 And many of those who had practiced magical arts collected their books and [throwing book after book on the pile] began burning them in front of everyone. They calculated their value and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver.
They did not just decide that Your power was superior.
They decided it that Your power was all they needed. They disregarded what it cost and burned the back-up plan. That is very different than adding You to a collection of strategies to make life work.
You make life work. That’s it. There is nothing to add to be better equipped for what’s ahead.
If I have You, I have enough. If I don’t have You, everything else I might try is worthless, so there’s no point in toting them along, “just in case.” My idols never help me, and when I continue protecting their place in my life, I only confuse my heart’s interpretation of the events that unfold before me.
Did God answer? Or was it because I prepared so well? Maybe because I didn’t jinx it by saying it out loud too soon? All of the above?
I see why You trimmed Gideon’s army down to 300. It is easy to start parceling out the credit when I spread my dependence across several things.
Best to cut away all else I depend on so I will recognize what really made the difference.
What is my magic book? What do I revert to, hold on tight to, struggle to leave behind in those really challenging situations?
What is my “just in case?”
Isn’t it just anything, (even good things?), that I manipulate to try to control how life turns out?
Let me, like the Ephesians, burn what I bring to the table and depend only on You, throwing book after book on the pile until You are all I have left.
You are worth all that it costs.
Magic books are back up plans for if You fail me; tools for if I’m left to figure this out on my own. I don’t need them. Continuing to make space for them is like saving room on the shelf for poison. It punctures the watertight seal of trust and allows a black thought to seep in:
You might not take care of me and I had better have a plan for what to do when You don’t show up.
Letting the lie linger twists my heart to render You with suspicion. It tempts me to give up early and try something else, when it would have been so worth waiting!
Magic books are suggestions that You can’t be completely trusted, and I should burn them.
They have no place in a life held by Your promises.