Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Idols

                Yesterday, I found myself asking the Lord why He was so mindful of me. When I come before Him sometimes I am just overwhelmed that He could even look upon me with any favor at all. Yet, He does. You see, I am an idolater. I have allowed the worship of idols to come into my heart. You may be thinking
that I am being too hard on myself, but sometimes I don’t think I am hard enough. You may also be thinking that there is a whole lot of self in my words today, and you would be right, because self is my biggest battle. Daily I am faced with the battle of my flesh against what I know the Lord is asking of me. Every day I struggle with my own sinful self. If you were to be completely honest, before our Holy God, you would have to admit that you too struggle with self.
                So what does this have to do with the idols that I have allowed to be erected in my life? It has everything to do with them. If you have been reading any of my blogs you will know that I have had specific instructions from the Lord to let go of two areas of my life. Both of these areas are not bad, per say, but they have become a stumbling block and a snare for me. I know the Lord is asking me for complete surrender of my life, especially in these two areas. Yet, I haven’t been able to lay them down, and I haven’t been able to give them up. As a result, they have become idols, and I have fallen into the sin of idolatry.
                “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:14
                That was His word for me today- flee! But what exactly is the sin of idolatry? And how do I flee from it? Most of us when we think of idolatry, we think of little statues of Buddha or some other god that people bow down to. But, idolatry is more than just worship of a statue. Idolatry is the giving of ourselves to someone or something other than God. It is the act of giving our time, devotion, and dedication to something or someone that is not God our Father. Idolatry today can be anything from television programs that we just can’t live without, addictions, our careers, success, money, even our children and our husbands can become idols in our lives if we are not careful. An idol is that area of your life that the Holy Spirit has convicted you of, told you to flee from it, yet you have not quite obeyed Him in doing so. (You alone know what your idol is; He is convicting you of it right now.)

                So how do we know if we have fallen into idolatry? The Lord showed me today that He has asked me to lay down these areas of my life and I have not yet obeyed. Because I have chosen to continue in these areas of my life, I have chosen to worship them instead of Him. Anything we desire to hold onto and are not willing to part with is an idol in our lives. He has told me to lay these things down, but I have chosen to disobey rather than to obey. I have continued in them and now they are before His face every day.
                In the Old Testament we read about the various Judges who tore down the altars and destroyed the idols the children of Israel were giving themselves to. The Judges left nothing remaining. They destroyed every aspect of these altars and pointed the people back to worshipping the One True God. Who is our Judge? Jesus Christ is the only One who can deliver us from the idols we have set up before our God. He desires to come into our lives and pull down, tear down and utterly destroy any area of our life that has come between us and our Father in heaven. Jesus is our Judge, who desires to free us, to free me, from these areas of disobedience. But, we must choose to let Him be Judge over us.
                We cannot allow our flesh to rule us, and that is exactly what I have been doing. I find myself in the midst of enjoying one of these idols, and I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I hear the Lord telling me to come away, yet I choose to stay and bow down to the demands of the idol instead. God alone deserves to Rule and reign over my every waking moment. Everything I have is because He has given it. The very breath I breathe is not mine- but His. Nothing belongs to me, not my children, not my husband, not my time, nothing is mine- it is His and His alone. Yet I hold onto these areas and refuse to obey the loving leading of His Holy Spirit.
                So, what next? The Lord wants to be Judge over us, so how then do we allow Him to do just that? How then do we allow Him to come into our lives and pull down these idols we have erected? It starts with obedience. In the book of Judges, the men and women that the Lord chose to deliver His people had to be obedient to pull down the altars of the people first. Look at Gideon. His father was the priest of the temple of Baal, yet Gideon was obedient to the Lord and chose to tear it all down, despite the wrath that might come upon him from his father. Our flesh is going to fight us like crazy, it is going to do everything in its power to make our lives miserable when we begin to tear down these idols, but, we have to first make the choice to take them down. No matter the cost.
                “No temptation has overtaken you except such that is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:14) Our flesh is going to fight us, but our God has already won the battle for us and in Him we can have victory from the idols of our lives. We have to be first obedient to pulling them down, and then fully rely on Him to destroy them all. We must give ourselves to obedient surrender. Wave the white flag and let Him do the rest.
             
   The first commandment that the Lord God gives us is that we have no other gods before Him. (Exodus 20:3) The Lord showed me this morning how when I come before Him in prayer, the study of His word, and worship, I also bring these idols with me. I have not laid them down, I have not given them up, and I have not walked in obedience to what He is asking of me. So, when I come before Him He sees these idols. They are like purses that are hanging off my shoulders, clanging together as I come before His throne. They are constantly before His face. I am coming before Him telling Him that He is my one and only God, that He is Lord of my life- that He is King, but making a sound and swinging off my shoulders are the idols I have not laid down.
                “But you shall utterly destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars and cut down their wooden images, (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)” Exodus 34:13-14 shows us exactly what we are to do. We are to break into pieces these idols that we have erected, we must cut down all the areas of our lives that He has told us to let go of and we must utterly and completely destroy anything that stands in His way. If God has told us there is an area of our life that we must let go of, and we have not- we have fallen into the sin of idolatry.
                I know these words of mine seem harsh today, but idolatry is harsh. Our idols, those things we give our time, money, devotion, desires to that are not God alone stand before His face every time He looks at us. We are breaking His heart when we follow the desires and lusts of our flesh and we are breaking His heart every time we choose the idol over Him. I pray for deliverance from these idols of my life. I pray for my one True Judge to come and destroy these idols I have erected before Him, and I pray, most adamantly that we, as His chosen people, would open our eyes to see the idols that are before Him and become obedient, no matter the cost, to tear them down from our lives. We must, if we truly choose Him as our one True God, we must flee from idolatry.

                Father, I pray that these words today would not be my words, but that they would be Your words. I pray today that You would go before me and tear down the idols of my life, these areas that I have been unwilling to let go of. Teach me obedience, Lord, whatever it takes, let You alone be my God, my King, my Father, my Judge. In Jesus Name, to You alone be glory, forever and ever. Amen and Amen.