The Very Thing I Desire


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.

29 thoughts on “The Very Thing I Desire

  1. kiya12 says:

    What i needed to hear today. I think it’s time I took a sip of coffee and sat down to think..

  2. Sara Marie Franklin says:

    Wow. I like having coffee with you. It really makes me think. I read this and realized for so long I have made my life and finding a partner in life that it truely has consumed me in so many ways. I just have always been taught that marriage was the real thing that everyone has to have by my family and to be honest more and more I have just wanted someone to come home to and not have to walk into my empty appartment after a bad day. It feels so alone. I have wonderful friends who support me, but they all have their own lives with their own families. I think this really hit home as I have made ever reason to not go to were I grow up for my brothers wedding. We don’t have a close relationship and I keep tellin myself that he won’t miss me, but truth is that I don’t want to be the only one of my siblings that isn’t married and his wedding will just throw that in my face. I also don’t want to deal with every member of my family asking if I am seeing and one and when I say not them giving me that look and then asking why not. I do love him and want to support him and I am glad that he found some one who loves him the way I want to be loved, but at the same time it breaks my heart. it is my being very selfish and putting me above everything in my life. Thanks for making me think about this. AGLM is truely on of those things in my life that God has blessed me with to help me grow ing my fiath.

  3. Johanna K says:

    Thank you very much. Today’s entry just confirmed what God revealed to me yesterday. It’s time for a change…

  4. Alyssa says:

    I think my idol is my youth group. It pretty much saved my life and I think I idolize it because of that.

  5. mcolravy1 says:

    Thanks so much Kelly! This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning!

  6. hbkelley says:

    Marriage, plain and simple. I long for it.

  7. barbara says:

    WOW…I needed to hear this a long time ago but glad i am hearing it now. After 3 years of being single from divorce i have almost dedicated my life to finding a new husband. I now know i must let that go and allow Gods will to be done!!! THANKS!!!

  8. Audrey says:

    Ouch. Ouch. Ouch! This sure is what I needed right now. Seriously. I know exactly what my idol is: praise and admiration from others. I guess another way to say that would be: Self-elevation! Thank you for addressing the subject of idols, Kelly! I know in my heart that the approval of God is all I need in this area, but I forget so often.

  9. Heather J. says:

    I’ve wanted to say this for awhile now:

    Thank you, Kelly and Heather, for your willingness to open yourself up and allow those secret struggles, weaknesses, and insecurities to be exposed to complete strangers. The courage you both display on this blog is something I admire and appreciate. And something that I certainly benefit from.

    I was raised in church….and I love my church….but it was always one of those unspoken things that you didn’t let your guard down and allow people to see the “real” you. You know how Christians can be. You’re always supposed to be super-spiritual and not show that there’s actually a flesh & blood human made of dust under that mask. To be honest, listening to Tenth Avenue North and reading/watching Mike’s blogs was a revelating and life changing experience for me. I never knew it was okay to be so honest and forthcoming about your struggles. And now to have your blog to read and learn from on a regular basis, it’s just incredibly liberating for me. I’ve served God from my childhood but I’ve never felt the freedom I have in the last couple of years. So thank you for your part in that. Thank you!

  10. Jen says:

    I really needed to hear that. I’ve been searching and searching looking for approval and acceptance and all the while wondering why I felt stuck in my relationship with GOD. Thank you for writing this. It has opened my eyes.

  11. Anna says:

    It’s almost overwhelming how many idols I now realize I have. But The one that’s especially opened to me is my desire for knowledge. I am an analyzer. I love to learn how things work and why things happen and this causes a huge problem for me in as I am in high school and even some of my teachers don’t expect me to care about learning just to learn–as opposed to just memorizing the right answers to pass the class and say I did it.

    But anyway, I’ve been noticing for a few months now that I don’t often actually PRAY to God. I usually find myself lost in thoughts ABOUT God rather then TO God. I’ve become obsessed with learning about God. I constantly check this website for new posts and I read daily plans and read/watch devotionals and listen to christian music searching for answers. I like concrete answers. I like things I can make sense of and can think about. While all of these things are great, I find myself thinking i need them so badly, that I forget to just pray. TALK to God. FEEL God. I have ADD and my mind can wonder. I pray, but a couple minutes later I find myself analyzing the information I already know about God and trying to figure out what He’s saying to me based on my own understanding of things. I don’t know how I will get better at it but I know it is a problem and I need to try to direct every moment to knowing God, not knowing ABOUT God.

    Thank you for your confession. It is so uplifting to see your courage and openness! It gives me hope that one day I’ll be able to open up to somebody, and let go of the lies!!!

    • Rebekah Z says:

      Try writing down your prayers in a journal. It has helped me tremendously. Engaging both my brain and my hand seems to help me stay focused longer.

    • Rebekah Z says:

      Try writing down your prayers in a journal. It has helped me tremendously. Engaging both my brain and my hand seems to help me stay focused longer.

    • Jaci says:

      I empathize with you about knowledge being an idol, and also for me intelligence. I just want to encourage you to know that Christ has made you to be a learner, an analyzer, but the purpose of it is for His glory. I know that I often try to figure God out, but it is in times when I let go of my need to know that He reveals Himself in the most awesome ways, sometimes even through knowledge. And so I want to give you hope that your knowledge and thoughts “about” God are a blessing from Him, so long as you recognize God as God, and those just gifts that HE has graced you with.

  12. Bethany says:

    Needed this (like usual). I don’t know what you’ve planned for the Friday follow-up, and obviously you should write whatever God leads you to write, but maybe you could say a bit more about how to enjoy stuff (because, like you said, it’s not wrong to want and enjoy things) but keep it from becoming an idol, especially once you’ve realized that it is and don’t want it to be again. In other words, I’d really like to know more about how to put this into practice! Is it really just as simple as praying about it–thanking God for the good things He’s given you to enjoy and praying that He will help you keep them from becoming idols? That seems like a good place to start…

  13. Cynthia says:

    It’s amazing how you simply write something that I just needed to hear. My idol is also in trying to find a partner. It’s hard and it’s worse when you have younger cousins and friends all “settled” and they keep asking you to do something. Some do it for fun and others are being snide. It hurts. But I am stopping this now. I will not let it become an idol which consumes my every thought. I know My Father already knows my desires and He will hold me up when I feel low. He has kept me safe all this while so I am going to be truly honest with myself and try and not let it become my idol. God please help all of us here to find the strength and courage to move forward and not let idols become our life. Instead may we live and breath for Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
    Thank you Kelly and Heather ; )

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you! This is exactly what i needed to hear today. I know i will come back to this post over and over again.

  15. Rachel L says:

    “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.” – This is totally true… God did this to/for me in August with my relapse into restrictive eating and it’s a struggle I am still working through, nearly 6 months later. For me this goes actually hand in hand with the other recent post on healing, which was yet another way God has pushed me towards seeking counseling…

    And tonight’s prayer was focused on REST as I’ve allowed myself to be weighed down by stress and shame.

    So I guess it’s safe to say your blog has been incredibly relevant to my life recently, wow.

  16. rzquack says:

    This was very much something I needed to hear. Now comes the hard part of applying it.
    You two and your blog have been a huge blessing; a breath of fresh air that God has placed in my life. Thank you.

  17. Christina says:

    Thank you so much for this. It’s what I really needed today. I’ve gone through life wanting something so deeply. So many people I knew were getting jobs, getting married, and having kids. Yet here I am sitting at a standstill, feeling like I am going nowhere. I’m starting to realize that I don’t need those desires. All I really should want to God and thus God will give me what I need.

    This post reminded me of a Meredith Andrews song. “All I ask, all I seek is You… is You. I all I want, all I want is You.”

  18. tina says:

    Oh my gosh it is like you can see my thoughts. Thanks for the wakeup call Kelly. Oh, and the peppermint tea. ;-)

  19. Katie says:

    Wow, just want I needed to hear today! I just had a conversation concerning this with a friend – my idol being the desire for a romantic relationship / marriage. I see her success (being married) as a threat to our friendship sometimes. It’s hard to remove that self-concerning desire from being able to rejoice in her happiness. I appreciate you sharing so open and honestly so that I can begin my road toward virtue.

  20. Diane Blog says:

    Reblogged this on Diane's Blog and commented:
    This really opened my eyes to what i prioritize in my life…i hope it will do the same for you.

  21. Dave says:

    Wow, this is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing, such a blessing and so eye opening! Something that is very real to me & which I’m going through right now! Be blessed & thanks for posting :)

  22. jerushauncurling says:

    I absolutely love this.

  23. knlinnartz says:

    Reblogged this on A Beautiful Purpose and commented:
    This is amazing.

  24. Gina says:

    Wow. I am in tears. I am completely convicted. I want to thank you so much for you words, kelly.

  25. Ali McCormick says:

    Thanks for sharing that Kelly. I needed to hear that today. I would ask you to pray for me as I get rid of my idol and turn my attention back to God.

  26. Thanks for sharing that post. It is exactly what I needed to hear. Pray for me as I get rid of my Idol and fill my life with God instead of my Idol.

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