Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 Jn 5:21 (NIV)
More than anything my heart desires greater intimacy with my Father in heaven. My heart cries out for it, longs for it.
My theme, my verse for last year was Hebrews 12:1-2 and can I just say honestly that I struggled mightily with what I needed to strip off or what sin was hindering my intimacy with God. I prayed, cried out to God to show me. I wanted to know. I longed to know. There was nothing. Silence.
I would do what Hebrews said and fix my eyes on Jesus, but it wasn’t working. It wasn’t enough. Can I be honest? Can I say what many often feel but are afraid to speak? He wasn’t enough. There it’s said, it’s in black and white and as I write it I know the truth behind it. It’s a lie. A sinful lie, an idol lie.
He is enough. That is truth. I know it. I do. At least in my head and most times in my heart. And this is the crux of the issue. This is the sin that hinders. It took all year to see it, but these last couple of weeks have been huge in opening my eyes thanks to a friend who sent me the book Idol Lies: Facing the Truth about our Deepest Desires by Dee Brestin. I am only half way through but as I’ve been reading it God has been speaking to my heart. LOUDLY. The blinders are coming off and I am seeing the truth of my idols.
God spoke loudly when I read “Every believer needs to be set free, and it begins with getting past our denial, with seeing what we really idolize, and admitting this to God and to others. We may think, for example, that our deepest desire is for God, but in reality we are running to food, friendship, or Facebook to fill up our souls. We may think that our identity is in Christ, but in reality it may be in the success of our ministry, mothering, or marriage.”(1)
My idol will not be a surprise to those who know me well. In fact as I shared with my husband he smiled with a knowing smile and confirmed what I have been feeling. Too often I look to others and other things to fill that which only God can. Instead of running to God I run to others.
I long to be loved, accepted, wanted and no person can fill those needs. Only God can. But instead of running to God I turn to anything but Him.
“God knows that the stones in our hearts are painful. They destroy relationships and ministries and keep us from experiencing Him. When He sees the stones in our hearts, He is grieved. He wants to remove them so that life can flow.” (2)
This is where I am headed. I need to allow God to destroy the idols. To expose and remove them. Therefore I will be taking a break from all social media including my blog for the month of January. It could be longer I do not know. I do know I will wait upon the Lord to show me when to return. I am giving up all these things not so much because I believe ALL of social media is an idol in my life, but I don’t want anything to tempt me or keep me from hearing from God.
I do not want my heart to be divided. I want my heart to be pure before God. This leads me to my verses for 2013.
"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord ’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Psalms 24:1-6 NLT
Even as I write this my heart wonders what you will think. Will lose “followers”? Friends? Those that I have come to know and love? But God reminds me I only need to trust Him. Trust. Why does it always come back to that. To trust Him with all my life, my relationships.
I would appreciate and welcome your prayers. And those who are friends with me around the web feel free to keep me accountable if you “see” me before February. I will still answer email, so if you need to you can contact me there.
I am so thankful for each of you and wish you a Happy New Year. See you in February.
(1)Brestin, Dee (2012-09-11). Idol Lies: Facing the Truth About Our Deepest Desires (p. 6). Ingram Distribution. Kindle Edition
(2)Ibid., (p. 13)