Thursday, October 25, 2012

Idolatry. Part II.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Lord first began showing me the idolatry in my heart as I began the task of identifying items to be sold at our garage sale.  Each day that week, the Lord hit my heart harder and harder with the revelation of these idols and the ways I had been bowing down to them for years.  At the end of the week I told my husband that I felt like my heart had been through an earthquake, with multiple aftershocks that didn't seem to have an end in sight.  The main earthquake uncovered the idolatry, but each aftershock uncovered more and more sin that had been ignored or forgotten and never really dealt with.  I was feeling completely exposed and raw.  And each time I began to feel slightly 'normal' again, another aftershock would come, leaving everything hazy and uncomfortable all over again. As difficult as all of it was, it's exactly what I needed!  It is by his grace that He uncovers our sin and leads us to repentance.

As it turns out, my words on Sunday night were a bit prophetic:
And that’s really just the beginning of the story, I think.  We still have lots of stuff in our house – lots of stuff I’m emotionally attached to, but rarely – if ever – use.  There are still idols, friends.  I can’t tie a pretty bow on this and tell you that the Lord has cured me of materialism and I’ll never be materialistic again.  But it’s a start and He’s working on it.
On Monday morning I read this post by my friend, Missy, and thought, "Hmm...  Approval.  I do struggle with that.  I should listen to those sermons."  And so Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while I cleaned the house during my daughter's nap, I listened to The Austin Stone Community Church's sermon series entitled, Counterfeit Love.


The first sermon was an overview of idolatry:

  • The very first commandment God gave Moses was "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deuteronomy 6:5)
  • King Solomon tells us that "...he has put eternity into man's heart..." (Ecclesiastes 3:11b)  In other words, He has given us a desire to know Him, and He is the only thing who can fill that desire.
  • And the verse I clung to falsely when I was single, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)  It makes so much sense to me now:  When I delight in Jesus, He gives me more of Himself.  He is the desire of my heart.

The second sermon covered the 4 basic types of idolatry:
  • Power
  • Control
  • Comfort
  • Approval
I seriously was only listening to this series because it covered Approval, but holy. moly.  As it turns out, I want ALL of these things!!!  Seriously??!!  Gotta love the daily reminders of how deeply flawed and sinful I am because it shows me how much I need Jesus.

The third sermon covered healing.  
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6) 
He wants to heal me of my idolatry!  I'm convinced that's why He continues to shake up my heart every week - and sometimes every day!  It's the way He draws me to Himself to know Him - reminders of my completely broken, wicked heart.  A heart that whores after other gods, a heart that would often desire comfort over sacrifice; idols over Jesus.  Lord, help me!  But I am thankful.  Thankful He does not condemn me, but like the woman caught in adultery, he says, 

"Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." (John 8:3-11)  

Grace.  Unfathomable grace.  Grace that draws me near to Him.  Grace that brings freedom.  Grace that stirs a love in my heart for Him that changes who I am.  

He is good, Friends.  Know Him.

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