Sunday, September 15, 2013

His Grace in Removing Idols

The first Bible study I ever did was Breaking Free by Beth Moore, and I'm pretty sure that's the first time that I learned that the term "idol" meant way more than just a carved wooden statue.  When Beth defined the term to include anything that takes the place of God in our lives, my eyes were opened to see how many things in this day and age could qualify under that definition.

During Priscilla Shirer's Gideon study that I went through this summer with a friend, she showed how the Israelites initially worshiped Baal, how Gideon removed the Baal idols, and how the Israelites ultimately returned to their old ways and wanted Gideon to rule over them as king after he (with God's help) defeated the Midianites.  On p. 150 of the study guide, Priscilla asked that we list any habit, desire, person, or activity that fits the following questions:

  • Do you have to compromise your convictions to indulge any person or action?
  • Does anything weigh more heavily in your decision-making process than the voice of the Holy Spirit?
  • Do you have difficulty being content, joyful, or grateful without something?
  • Is there anything you cannot say no to, even when God is asking it of you for a season?
  • Do you automatically turn to something for comfort or relief when you're unhappy?
  • Does your mind immediately center on something as a solution when problems arise?
I don't know about you, but those questions are tough.  And the truth that they reveal is tough to swallow.  But my prayer at the end of that day's study was for God to help me attack and remove the idols in my life that are taking His place and His benefits.  And the Lord has been faithful to assist with this process.

The easiest victory to discuss in a public forum is my love for college football, particularly a team with burnt orange as their signature color.  After I realized how much my fall schedule revolves around their games, I tried to make some changes.  And let's just say that maybe their losing two of the first three games is God's grace in removing this idol from my life (and maybe some of the other fans' lives).

Substituting a visible alternative for the invisible but faithful One-and-Only God will always leave me empty.   The things of this world cannot compare to the benefits that our all-knowing, omnipresent, almighty God can provide.  May that give me the strength and perseverance that I need to remove anything else that I attempt to put on His throne.

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