Monday, January 27, 2014

No Other Gods

Lindsay wrote a similar post to today's back in 2012.  You can read it here.

Let me be honest.

I have been fighting a losing battle.  I have exerted much effort with little to no results.  I have cried many tears.  I have prayed many prayers.  I have read many blogs.  I have read the Bible and journal like a saint. I.

I have been struggling spiritually for the last 2 months.  It has been a battle that I hope I will not have to face again any time soon because it's miserable.  It's a battle I hope to face again soon because it humbles me and draws me closer to God.  This battle is not one I would relate to depression.  I've been rather good about getting out of the bed, going to work, seeing friends, inviting friends over.  I've been good at all of those things.  I've failed at having an overall joyful attitude in doing those things.  I've felt so far from the Lord and tried to read every scripture I could to bring me back to a place of rest in Him.  Didn't work.

Much like Lindsay's post.  The dark season started to see the light when I realized the idols I had in my life.  I always hear people say "such and such was an idol in my life."  Or, I've had people ask me,  "Is this an idol in your life?"  My answers are simple and to the point - Yes.  But it has to be deeper than that.  The reality is that I did not understand what it meant to have idols in our lives.  A week ago I began a Bible study by Kelly Minter called "No Other Gods."  Within the first couple of days, I realized the capacity and detriment of an idol.

You shall have no gods besides me.  Exodus 20:3

An idol is anything that we place before God.  To me, it took on greater meaning to mean anything that occupies my thoughts, time, resources, conversations etc. more than God does.  It is anything that our life focuses on in a capacity that is greater than our worship for God.  The Holy Spirit has begun to reveal the many idols in my life - marriage. singleness. food. body image. weight. perfection. control. friendships. purpose.

They worshipped the Lord, but they also served their own gods... They would not listen, 
but persisted in their former practices.  Even while these people were worshipping the Lord,
they were serving their idols.  2 Kings 17:33, 40-1

Here I was raising my hands to God in praise on a Sunday morning, but raising those same hands in worship to these many other gods the moment I walked into the church parking lot, or even worse - the moment I sat down.  In Exodus, it talks a lot about the Israelites being under the power of Pharaoh.  The Pharaoh continuously placed burdens of labor and harsh conditions on the Israelites, so they would continue to be weighed down.  Those gods I had been making for myself were occupying the center of my heart, but they were in a sense choking me.  The gods I've been worshipping were making me bitter, angry, lacking joy, anxious, doubtful, lacking trust, fearful. 

This struggle I'd been going through was due to me placing my own gods on the throne rather than the One True God who gave me all.  My "funk" was because He has not been able to be God in my life; I haven't allowed it.  I thought I knew best.  The result of what I thought as best has only been miserable.  I'm grateful that these idols have been revealed to me.  I'm grateful to be slowly understanding the balance of good desires and crossing the line into idols.  I'm grateful for the Lord's grace in being patient with me and giving a gazillionth fresh start.  I'm grateful that during this dark season, He has still been God.  I'm grateful that this season is being used to make me more like Himself.

He will not necessarily protect us- not from anything it takes to 
make us like His Son.  Alot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by
 fire will have to go into the process.
- Elisabeth Elliot

To be continued.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this.. I'm also looking forward to writing up a post in this issue on my blog real soon @ . The discovery of this truth is really BIG.