Friday, January 16, 2009

Confronting My Idols

As I told you last week I began the Bible Study "No Other Gods " by Kelly Minter. It is about confronting our modern-day idols. And I told you that I had several idols in my life. Good grief!
I feel like I have really been smacked around and this is only week number two.

I am also facilitating Beth Moore's study on Proverbs "Wising Up Wherever Life Happens" at my church on Wednesday nights. No, I am not an over achiever, I just really need a lot of Bible Study. You know how when God is really trying to get your attention about a particular matter every verse you read or study you do fits together? And it becomes abundantly clear that He is speaking to you? Well on Wednesday night our study was on our heart. So not only do I have idols in my life, I also have an ailing heart which goes hand in hand with huge idol in my life.

In "Wising Up" our lesson was on the Heart of Wisdom. We are to inspect our hearts for ailments and to "guard" our hearts. (Prov. 4:23). One kind of ailing heart is the anxious heart.
Beth says: "The Hebrew word for anxious literally means " 'to bow down like prisoners before their captors." (NIV Application Commentary, p.344) She goes on to say that all anxiety is rooted in control. I never felt like I was a control freak, I just always felt out of control. A prisoner of circumstances beyond my control.

As far back as I can remember, even when I was a little girl, I was anxious about nearly everything. I worried needlessly about things. And still do. But I am very good at hiding it and it has never been so bad that I needed medication to control it, and I have never had a full-blown anxiety attack. But it is always there. A constant anvil hanging over my head. Even when there is no reason to be anxious, I am anxious. So God is forcing me to look at this and figure out why. I have to realize that I am not in control God is. And I am not God. And it is exhausting trying to be God. And I do not want to be a prisoner bowing down in captivity to my idols.

This week in "No Other Gods" Kelly Minter reminded us of the story of Sarah and Hagar from Genesis 16:1-15. You know the gist of the story. God had promised Abraham that he would have a son. Sarah was barren and because she was getting older, instead of waiting on God to do His thing, she felt like she had to help things along by insisting that Abraham sleep with her maidservant Hagar. Kelly says, "Many of us run to idols because we are convinced they will bring us what we need. During the era in which Sarah and Hagar lived the ability to bear children was essential. It was viewed as a need." Personally, I think Sarah's desire to help God sprang from the anxiety that she must have felt in her inability to have a child. How many times have I reacted out of my anxiety like Sarah did? I think I "need" something and I try to fix that need. I get tired of waiting on God and try to help him out. Unfortunately too many times. He does not need my help.

I have to be honest, it is not easy to come face to face with my idols and look into my ailing heart and deal with the junk that's in there. It has been painful at times. But I think that God allows painful lessons because they are the ones that stay with us forever. God is so good. He wants me to clean out all the junk in my heart and in my life. To throw away the idols I have been hanging on to. He wants to be the only God in my life.

Life is Good,



Leah said...

I am touched and blessed by your post. And I am feeling your pain. I know those anxious feelings. Know that I am praying for you, dear friend. I love you.


Lora said...

Oh dear one, press on with the hard work of cleaning out the idols and dealing with the *junk* that is there. What a beautiful testimony your heart is to do the difficult work Cindy! God loves you and is with you. Press on - you are His beloved.

fuzzytop said...


I pray you will be blessed as you submit to the work God is doing in and on your heart. Anxiety can be such a difficult thing, and I've never heard it that definition equating it to bowing down before our captors. I pray you will be richly blessed as you press on.


AmyW said...

What an honest and heartfelt post. I'm thinking I need to get a copy of the bible study. I need to let go of my old enemy called "worry" once and for all. I also find myself dwelling on things and people instead of on God. Looks like I have some idols that need to be removed from my life.

Thanks for sharing. I'm sure typing those words were not easy but what a blessing for those of us lucky enough to read them.

ocean mommy said...

Thank you for praying for me last weekend!

I am so honored to pray for you..I can relate to what you have said here..Like Lora said..keep pressing in to Him!