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Archive for February 11th, 2013

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. – Exodus 34:14

I have been reading through Exodus and it has taken me forever because for every chapter I read there are a dozen lessons that accompany the verses.  God has taken me all over the place in what He’s teaching me: Sometimes the route He takes me on may seem like a round about way of arriving somewhere, but He knows that the shorter route would cause me to take my eyes off Him (Ex. 13:17-18).  The Lord still fights for us if we would be still and wait for Him (15:2-3).  I need to look past my pain to the promise (17), I need to find a good support system and for goodness sake stop trying to do everything on my own (18:14).  I need to remember who it is that can deliver people from their bondage (20:2).  And God still calls us to do incredibly great, holy things, even when we totally blow it with our own sin (32).  I could’ve written whole entries on any one of these topics.  Goodness knows I’ve journaled about them enough in my own quiet time.  I’m on such a whirlwind of learning that it honestly has been hard to keep up.  On the side God’s given me lesson in faith, what it means to love, and what it means to let go.

But there is one lesson I did not think I needed.  One thing God totally blindsided with me.  And to make sure I really got the point, He not only spoke to me in Scripture but he used a friend to very strongly call me out.  This lesson has to do with idols.  Something I would’ve said in all sincerity that I do not struggle with.  God is first in my life.  Or is He?

I mentioned to said friend that I was struggling so much lately with exhaustion and burnout and feeling empty and feeling nothing at all.  Numb.  And maybe even just a tad depressed.  I hate saying that word because normally people freak out.  They get all quiet and serious and concerned.  Not this friend.  She looked straight at me and said, “That doesn’t surprise me at all.  You’ve made your two kids your idols and God has been dethroned.  When you dethrone God, He allows you get very, very uncomfortable.”  It stung a little.  Okay, her words stung a lot.  But I couldn’t be mad, not even for a moment.  She was so very right.  Without realizing it, Lydia and David have become my idols.  Not just my first priority, but my only priority.  I squeeze five minutes with God in the morning as the kids brush their teeth, but He was so far from number one.

I got back last night from two glorious nights in Ridgeway, SC.  I stayed in an apartment attached to a mammoth of a house and drank coffee, relaxed in a Jacuzzi tub, took walks through the woods by the creek, napped on a king size bed under a think, silky comforter.  I sat at a table gazing out the balcony at acres of land.  I felt the sun warm my skin and listened to the melancholic sounds of wind chimes.  And for two days straight I rested.  I read my Bible and books about Jesus and journaled until my hand hurt.  It was me and God.  Silent.  Distraction free.  And it was here that I realized my idols are not just ruling my life but destroying it.  And I am bowing down to them every single day.

The hardest part about my weekend is transitioning the lessons I learned in a time of solitude back into my crazy, chaotic world.  I learned to be still (once I stopped literally pacing around the room), to listen to God, to love His Word, and to put Him first.  He was my top priority and I devoted hours this weekend just hanging out with Him.

So how do I start making Him my number one priority?  How to I turn away from my miniature idols with blond hair and blue eyes and bow down once again to a God who is jealous for my heart?  It started this morning with me choosing to wake up and spend 20 minutes with Him before I woke up the kids.  20 minutes.  It felt so short compared to hours in the woods.  But it’s a start.  I choose today to bow to Jesus.

It’s going to be a struggle.  My kids demand that I bow to them.  Every day, every time they pull at the string that is still attached to their heart, I have to remember to bow to Jesus first.  I cannot be an effective foster mother if I’m, although unintentionally, worshiping my kids.  These two broken kids cannot withstand the weight of my worship.  Only He who is Worthy can.  It’s time I start back bowing down to Him.

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