Friday, August 20, 2010

Surprising Idols

I read a scripture this week in Ezekiel 14. Verse 3 really grabbed my heart because of the descriptive nature of its words. In this scripture God is speaking to the prophet Ezekiel about His people, Israel, and their false gods. The New Living Translation words it this way:

“Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin….”

The word that got me hook, line, and sinker was “embraced”. They had embraced the very things that would be their stumbling blocks leading them to sin. What does embrace mean? Here are a few synonyms: hug, hold in your arms, cuddle, grip, clinch, hold close. Typically, when I think of what might lead me into sin, embrace is not a word that comes to mind. I am more likely to think of idols as things that I would be cautious of, not things that I would hold close, much less cuddle. That in itself is evidence of the enemy’s deception. If I were cautious of those things, I would not be as likely to worship them. After reading and pondering this verse, I asked Him and myself what idols do I embrace. What do I walk up to and hug? You don’t have to ever worry about God being honest with you when you ask Him something. He is always honest, because He is truth, and He was honest with me when I asked Him that question. He revealed to me something that I have been “embracing” that has potential to become a false god in my life. It was an “ouch” moment and I made a conscious choice to refrain from it for several days. Today was day one and I will say, it wasn’t easy, which made it more clear to me the idol status this thing had attained.

As I sat in discussion with my Becoming More Group tonight, the subject of false gods came up again. Do you ever feel like God is just chasing you with something until you “get it”? That’s what this is beginning to feel like. As we discussed some of our false gods He revealed another one to me and to my friend at the same time, our eyes connected and I instantly knew we were thinking the same thing. I am sure most of you can identify with what this false god is. We all have it, it is one of the only things that we are all given an equal measure of every day.

Our Time.

My time is an idol. I analyze it, savor it, cuddle it close, caress it like a baby, and decide what I will use it for. It can be both my friend and my enemy. I plan it out in chunks of days, blocks of hours, and even in slivers of minutes. If we are completely honest, I would dare say that our time is one of the first things we think of each day. “How am I going to spend my precious time today?” “How am I going to get done everything IIIIIIIII need to get done today?”

I was reminded of something I was taught in a study a few years ago, and I want to pass it on to you. God gives each of us the same amount of time in our day and He gives us enough time to accomplish what He wants accomplished in each day. The problem is, what I try to accomplish may not at all be what He has planned, which is why my activity is often so frustrating.

Sometimes I think we need to be reminded of what Psalms 39 says, beginning in verse 4, this is the New Living Translation.

Lord remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered-
How fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer the the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
At best, each of us is but a breath.

We are merely moving shadows,
And all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
Not knowing who will spend it.
And so Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.

And all our busy rushing ends in nothing. That phrase bears repeating, did you notice it?

Author of my life, help me to order my days. May I begin by ordering even my moments, sometimes to try to order a day, can in itself be overwhelming, so I ask you to take my hand and lead me through the smallest parts first, my moments. Once I allow You to teach me that part, walk me to the next. I know, Father, that everyday is a gift from You and that I was not created for my own pleasure, but I was created to glorify you. Open my eyes to ways to glorify You in the moments, because moments make up minutes, minutes make up hours, hours make up days, days make up years, and years make up the life I live. I want the life I live to be for You.

Seek the Lord’s face today and ask Him what you might be embracing. I would love to hear your feedback, please don’t tell me I’m in this alone!

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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