Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The High Places

"I wasn't on Mount Carmel, I didn't see Elijah, and the prophets of Baal were long gone, but God was bringing me through my desert, and had pitted Himself against my own false idols." Bianca Olthoff, Play With Fire

Sometimes you read something that gives the piece of information you've been missing and suddenly the puzzle is complete, the picture is made whole, and you can see clearly for the first time just how much of a mess you are in.

Every time I've done an Old Testament study there has almost always been a mention of the rampant idolatry. You read of people bowing down to stone figures, throwing things in fires that ought not be thrown in fires, and ridiculous beliefs and you scratch your head in wonder as to how they could be so foolish. And while we are quick to judge that they believed their idols had the power to give them what they want, we do the exact same thing.

Food is supposedly going to give us comfort.
Relationships are apparently going to cover our every emotional need.
Money is bound to give us the security we desperately seek.
Status will make us valuable to the masses because of our contribution to the world.

I could go on but you get the point. When we read it, we see the absurdity of it. But when we're living it, and it's blatantly telling us lie after lie, we accept them all because it's what we know and the thought of changing insights such fear we can't even comprehend how we could survive loosing what we hold so close we can't even see it.

When I read the quote from Bianca, I realized why this season has been so dry and desolate. When what you have been fueling to meet your needs begins to loose its luster and appeal, and you think you've been depending on God but you haven't, you have no idea what's happening, where to turn, or what on earth you can do about it. And when you have buried your emotions so deeply under layer upon layer of idols, the thought of uncovering them and loosing the only comfort you have known, no matter how false it has been, is terrifying.

So here I am now, realizing that God is doing battle with my idols. From fitness, to food, to a desperate need for affirmation from others, He is fighting for the submission of my heart and I honestly don't know how to let go of what I have held dear for so long. Exercise has been my stress release instead of the words that could bring healing. Food has been my comfort instead of the love God has been lavishing on me through the years that I didn't recognize through his gifts. And through my insatiable need to please others and be deemed irreplaceable, I have sacrificed beyond the boundaries of what is healthy.

The good news is I know God is going to win this. The bad news is it's probably going to hurt. But if Jesus were to show up in front of me right now and ask if I want to be made well, the answer would be yes. And if I sing show us your glory during worship, I really don't get a say in how he chooses to do that or determine which avenues of his glory I will accept. Because if he accepts me unconditionally, I have to do the same for him. And the astounding part is that he doesn't for a minute think that he drew the short straw. He chose me a long time ago and now it's my turn to choose him above everything else.

Father, you know my love of Twilight and you know it has always been because of the way Edward loves Bella so unconditionally in only wanting the absolute best for her. And you love me the exact same way. Even when I've replaced you, questioned your ways, doubted your goodness, and refused your invitiations to turn back. Lord, we all have idols in our lives. Help us remove them from the places we buried them thinking you wouldn't know they were there. Your love is all we need to be truly satisfied. Help us lay down what has been keeping us bound and begin to live in the freedom Jesus died to give. Give us eyes for you alone. We love you and praise you for all that you are. Amen.

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