Yesterday we heard a great, and rather convicting, sermon from Pastor Brian on trusting God.
The passage he pulled from Mark happened to be about the encounter Jesus had with the “rich, young ruler” and he noted this account both IS and ISN’T about money.
It IS 100% about whether we place our trust in God or in the provisions He has given us.
And yes, money is one of the major provisions that add to our security, safety, well-being, health, shelter, identity…etc….etc…etc…
Pastor Brian wanted us to be aware that money, and what it can do for us and what we can do with it, is not the exclusive means for pulling us away from devotion to God alone…but it is one of the biggies.
And as I sat there, echoes started resounding in my soul from the hours I spent digging into Kelly Minter’s wonderful No Other Gods book, study guide and videos a while back.
Since I have never really earned large sums of money; but instead have enjoyed the fruits of the labor of first my father and now my husband, I can sometimes think money doesn’t mean that much to me.
But I know in my heart, I have become very accustomed and partial to the things it can bring into my life.
So this was a good wakeup call to me as to how addicted I have become to comfort.
But the Holy Spirit didn’t let me rest there, my friends.
He never does.
Because Brian had to go “from preaching to meddling” as the saying expresses it…and he used this zinger near the end.
How money can become a “functional idol”…a source of rest and wealth and trust and security.
A phrase Kelly taught me in the study mentioned above.
A phrase that just happened to pop up on my devotions this morning.
Worded this way…
Zealotry over any “good thing” in any one area of your life is a red flag of functional idolatry.
When a “good thing” replaces Jesus in your heart.
What is the thing…the position…the mantle….the serving….that is the most important thing about you? About me?
It can be our status based on our possessions, but for me, it is the thing I have poured the most and best and purest of my life efforts into.
It’s my family.
I sit here with a choked throat and a face bent low and tell you that being an excellent wife and a good mom have many days knocked Jesus off the throne of my heart.
I know it when I get angry at the perceived failures.
I see it when I base my value on how well I am doing my part…oh, and God forgive me, how they are doing theirs.
I sense it when I compare myself to others who seem to be doing it better.
I am well aware that just as the Jews equated prosperity with having God’s favor, I live in a culture where having a financially, emotionally and spiritually prosperous family is the same deal.
And where in Scripture did the Lord ever say that having all your ducks in a row and looking well-turned out on social media was the hope and the promise of the Cross?
It is with sincere candor and conviction that I share …. I often have placed my trust in my role as wife and mother to the precious family God has given me to serve …
and THIS, too, is idolatry.
Oh there will be some who rise and say these are noble things to pursue.
Yes they are.
But when they have become my source of identity…my badge of recognition…the fulfillment of my life…the breath of my lungs and the beat of heart…
they are functional idols.
And they must be torn down.
Because the idol here is not really my family…it is my reputation as being the wife and mom of this family.
It is what others think of ME and how I have done in life based on how well all of them are doing.
To have a well-thought of…well respected…prospering in soul and spirit group….is a reflection of me, myself and I….
My devotion this morning pointed out that the good things God has called us to do, are not the sole essence of Christ.
They are blessed opportunities to live out His love but they are NOT Him.
I cannot worship at the altar of family.
I cannot rely on my roles as wife and mother to save me.
I cannot seek affirmation and confirmation of my God’s love for me based on the ebbs and flows of the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Jesus loves me…this I know.
He gave His life for me and it is at His feet that I must always bow down to worship.
He is my prosperity.
He is my wealth.
Belonging to Him is my identity.
What He has done for me on the Cross is the story of my life.
It is His love that must be poured into this poor empty heart.
And when it is full of Him and Him alone, then and only then, can I can serve those He has blessed me to love and tend in a way that will bring glory and honor to His Name.