January 29, 2013 by A Girl Like Me
Hey. Come sit across from me. Grab a cup of coffee or a peppermint tea and pretend to look me in the eyes. Let’s talk. Lets get real shall we. Let’s look into the depths of our hearts and pull out the crutches that we are hiding and the sin we are pretending isn’t there. You see, I haven’t been real with myself lately and thought, just maybe, you were in the same boat.
I may need this more than you. A time of confession you could say. A time to be real with you because I’m just now realizing that there is an Idol in my heart that I didn’t want to admit was there. This idol proves that I am fully capable of being selfish, narcissistic and so consumed with my daily crap. I consistently think about me, feel sorry for myself, and drown myself in a sea of self pity. I have let it consume me and keep me from compassion and love towards others. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the way I was thinking or feeling until I read the definition of an Idol according to Tim Keller.
He says this, ” It is ANYTHING more important to you than God, ANYTHING that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, ANYTHING you seek to give you what only God can give. A counterfeit god is anything so essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy on it without a second thought. It can be the way you look, how much money you have, getting a romantic relationship, how smart you are, approval from other people, your morality and virtue, or even success in a Christian ministry. An Idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, – ‘ If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” Phew. Convicted yet? I am.
You see… ever since my miscarriage this idol crept into my life. I was convincing myself that there was nothing wrong with wanting another child.. which is true. But when I looked into my heart, I knew that I was placing this desire before God. I’m ashamed to admit that. It got to the point where it was all I could think about and I was constantly anxious and worried. It got to the point where I couldn’t be happy for my friends who were getting pregnant. It got to the point where I found myself not rejoicing with those who rejoiced and not mourning with those who mourned. I became a selfish, consumed individual and it was because this Idol was ruling my life. I’m ready to place the King of Kings back on the throne of my heart where He belongs and where Joy ultimately resides.
The very last statement to the whole book of 1 John is ” Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Why does it end this way? When you read prior to that it says- ” And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask ANYTHING according to HIS WILL He hears us!! And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. … And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life… therefore- keep yourselves from idols!” Idols lie to you! They tell you that you won’t be happy unless you have this certain thing. They tell you that your life utterly depends on it. They tell you that you are most important in this life. However, God is truth! We belong to God so we belong to truth! Not lies…. We are in Him! It is not about me, It is not about whether or not I get the desires of my heart. This whole thing we are living is about God and knowing God. God is the very thing our heart searches for and longs for and the only thing that will completely satisfy us. In His presence are Joys evermore. And when we realize that and we turn our eyes from the lies to the truth we will see Him and see others. Our thoughts will turn off of ourselves and onto the One who can give eternal life.
Romans 12:15 says this- ” Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” This one sentence sums up so much of community and the focus of others. When we have an idol residing in our life we cannot honestly rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who cry. Idols keep us with our hands tied up disabling us from serving others whole heartedly. It keeps us in a pit of disappointment rather than pointing us towards hope in knowing our God hears our prayers. I am ashamed at the way I have acted towards certain friends who got the very thing I wanted and I didn’t. If I could go back I would have rejoiced in their gladness. I would have hugged them rather than allow the anxiety to build. I would have cheered them on and trusted that God knows my heart and He is the very thing I long for and have already received.
Ok.. take a sip of your coffee and take a deep breath and look into your heart of hearts- Is there anything more important to you than God right now? Is there something you are seeking to get value and acceptance from that isn’t God? Is there something in your life.. that if you were to lose it your life would feel unworthy of living? Is there anything, if you were to gain it, that you would feel significant and worth something? I know these can be hard questions to ask. And believe me… we don’t want to answer them. You could do what I did and just pass over this going on with your life and letting it be. That would be the easy thing to do. But I am here to tell you that God loves you too much to let you get away with that. And sooner or later He will always bring your Idols to light and you will have a choice to do something about it or just pretend that it’s no big deal. I urge you to dig out the things that are consuming your thoughts and replacing God in your life and confess them before the Lord. Allow Him to remove these idols and I promise you – You will find what you are truly looking for.