Before we even start in today, as I sat down to an overflowing desk of neglected paperwork to open a computer where 742 UNREAD emails reside…to have my “quiet time”…I flipped the desk calendar over and find this…
“Ask where the good road is, the godly paths…Travel there, and you will find rest for your souls.”Jeremiah 6:16 The Living Bible.
Thank you God.
Thank you whoever put this lovely little desk calendar in and prayerfully selected verses and quotes because so many times, it hits me right where I am.
You are probably in a hurry today, just like me.
But sit back, scroll back…take a deep breath and then a long drink of living water and read that passage again…
God is inviting us, you and me, to ask Him where the good road is…
inviting us to ask for directions that will take us on the godly paths…
inviting us to book our journey based on HIS divine road map and why?
Because it is there we will find rest for our souls.
And that is why we want freedom from idols.
Idols do not give us rest.
Idols demand and oppress and crush our spirits and make us weary as we attempt to satisfy the capricious whims of something or someone who can never be what God desires to be for us.
Yesterday we looked at some specific things from a quote by Richard Keyes that we can turn into idols:
a physical object
On page 25 of my study guide (remember I am using the original one!), there is a definition that enhances our understanding of how we can begin to identify what our idols might be:
“Most of us think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone or metal worshipped by pagan people..In biblical terms, it is SOMETHING OTHER THAN GOD THAT WE SET OUR HEARTS ON, THAT MOTIVATES US, THAT MASTERS AND RULES US, OR THAT WE TRUST, FEAR, OR SERVE…an idol can also be referred to as a ‘false god’ or a ‘functional god.’” Ken Sandepage 25, No Other Gods by Kelly Minter 2007 Lifeway Press
As I did yesterday, I will do again today because listing things is my jam…
An idol is something other than God that….
- we set our heart on
- motivates us
- masters and rules us
- we trust, fear or serve
I am an extremely private person about a lot of things and yet, God continues to pry my hands off of my “fear” of over-exposure and being judged and asks me be open and transparent about my own struggles so that perhaps someone else can learn and grow.
I typed that more for me than for you because guess what one of my “idols” is.
I care very much about what others think of me.
I care so much that I have imaginary conversations in my head in which others are vocally criticizing me, or correcting me, or comparing themselves to me and as I defend or justify or explain myself, I can get so beat down that I am ready to quit and the only real person who said all these negative things about me…was me.
And culture might have me put up a meme that says some kind of cool, positive, empowering quote with a picture of a woman in her mid 30’s with long thick hair that I will never have and kind of a dewy background and some pretty flowers so that I can affirm myself of the value of being me…and you know what?
That’s not what I need.
And God knows it.
What I need is to confront an idol I have handcrafted that is the image of me doing everything exceedingly well to the applause of many over my originality and creativity and I need to take a sledgehammer and knock that phony god down.
Because one of my idols is the idea that I can do life well all by myself. It is an idol of an idea that somehow if I just do everything perfectly, I won’t have any struggles or trials or bad things happen.
The little god I have set up in my mind and heart is me not making mistakes and not having to back track to correct them.
And the weight of catering to the whims of this idol can wear me out and keep me from living in the full freedom that says…
before I ever even thought to love God, He loved me. In spite of all that I am and all that I have done and every way I will mess up today and tomorrow and the next day until He comes and takes me home…He loves me. He doesn’t love me because I am perfect – He loves me because HE is perfect love.
Oh, I will be perfect one day, but it will be because of Jesus Christ, whose blood covers me now and it is by His perfection that I will one day be presented…faultless…before the Throne of God.
So I can blame Satan or haters or whoever I want to for the angst I feel when I don’t measure up…but it’s my own little g, functional god of self that has displaced the Almighty God who made me, knows me, and is transforming me more and more into His image.
It is for freedom that Christ has set me free…so anywhere I do not feel free…I have discovered the calling card of an idol.
Oh Father, show these prone-to-wander feet the good road. Help this child of yours to journey onward along godly paths.www.laurareimer.net