Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Club: No Other Gods Week 1 & 2

Clearly, I made promises I couldn't deliver. I promised a book club entry at the end of each week, but that just did not happen last week. Something called life took its place. Nonetheless, I am enjoying this study again. Yes, I am on my third rotation; however, the Lord's Word is applicable time and again. We are teachable at knew moments in life, so the study continues to be relevant to my life.

Some of the major highlights from this study:

  • When it comes to worship, I try to create a diagram in my head where God is at the center and my life floats around it, much like the solar system. However, with idols of the heart this is not how my reality often plays out. The idols take center stage where the Lord should be - these idols that occupy my thoughts are body image, perfectionism, marriage, being a mother etc. I have realized over the past two weeks just how much of my thoughts are geared toward these idols in some form or fashion. It may be a stretch in some cases by 9 times out of 10 an idol/functional god is what is behind my actions. Minter uses a definition of functional god several times; the part that caught my attention is that a functional god is what "motivates us." Wow!
  • I don't know about you but some of the Christian lingo still stumps me. What exactly does it mean to "put your identity in Christ"? Do you remember this being tossed around so often, yet no one really explained what it meant? This little phrase became quite the burden for me because I felt like I was constantly striving to PUT MY IDENTITY in CHRIST. After working through one of the lessons, the Lord showed me that my identity is already in Christ. That's where I stand. It's not something I have to go out and seek, but it's who I am already declared (1 Peter 2:9 and Deuteronomy 7). It's nothing we have to obtain because at our justification we are declared HIS - our identity is stamped at that moment. This Christian lingo that was tossed around all those years easily led to my confusion between justification and sanctification. I don't earn my identity. It's there.
  • Need, Want, Silence of God and Fear are some of the motivators that push us to turn to idols. Sarah's need for a child. The Israelites want of a god. Our fear of "missing out" leads to uncategorical amounts of people-pleasing. For me, I was able to write out some of my idols and trace the "fear inducers". It's scary seeing all of your fears listed on paper, but it showed me how much of my life has been led by fears that further lead to a preoccupation of my heart that is not on Christ. Thankfully, the Word has so much to say about fear. God knew we would be fearful people (and why not? we live apart from him), and thus He provides much comfort in fear.
If you aren't doing this study yet, I highly suggest you take it off the book shelf and begin today. There are many studies out there for women; however, I truly believe Minter has a grasp on the Word of God and directing women to the Word FIRST rather than using the Bible as a secondary help. In all of this, sanctification is hard and touches places of the heart that we want to steel away. But our God is faithful to remove those walls, so He can occupy! 

Happy Saturday!

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