September 16, 2014

I AM Free to Run … (Part 2 of 3)

1 Corinthians 10: 6-7, 13-14

These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.  So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

Last night was another breakthrough in my media fast.  I went back to 1 Corinthians to review some of the Scriptures my pastor used in his sermon Sunday.  I want to talk about two things that kept revealing itself to me in the Scriptures above:

 

Idolatry – What is it? 

Idols – What are they?

 

Let’s start with idolatry first.

What is idolatry? 

The dictionary defines idolatry as:

    : the worship of a physical object as a god 

    : immoderate attachment or devotion to something

God instructs us in of 1 Corinthians 10:7 to not be idolaters, correct?   If so, we then need to ask ourselves if there are any idols in our life.  We need to start first by finding out what the word IDOL means.

The dictionary defines the word IDOL as:

idol

 noun \ˈī-dəl\

: a representation or symbol of an object of worship

 : a false god

I want to focus on the definition of “an object of worship”.  What does that mean to you?  The word worship means to praise something or someone; to honor; to put above.

In today’s world, there are many things that we worship, or idolize, that we may not even be aware of.  I’m talking about the things in our lives that we are “attached” to, can’t live without, we have to have every day, and so on.  These are things that if someone were to take them away from us we would not be happy at all!  These are things that we have become so attached to that they have become a part of our daily life without us even realizing it.  They are things that we think so highly of that sometimes nothing else matters and we get angry if anything comes in the way of us enjoying these things. Does anything come to mind when I say that?

Let’s take a look at some of the things that I am talking about and see if you recognize any of them:

  • Television
  • Money
  • Soap Operas
  • Romance Novels
  • Video / Computer Games
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol

And let’s not forget the ever popular Social Media:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Do any of these things mentioned above take a high priority in your life?  Ask yourself this question:  “If someone were to take any of these things out of my life, would it make me happy?”  If you answered NO to that question, then most likely this thing(s) are an idol in your life.

For me, I can see several things on that list:  Television, Money, Social Media, Games.  During this media fast that I am currently doing, I found out that taking away my Facebook or Pinterest is really a hard thing!  I really never realized how much I am on Facebook, and/or the reasons WHY I am on Facebook, until this fast!

Some of the reasons I like Facebook:

  • A way of connecting with family & friends (not a bad thing)
  • It’s a way to kill time
  • It’s a way to fill the void in my life
  • It’s a way to beat the loneliness

I have had to seriously look at the reasons why I was spending so much time on Facebook.  Was what I was doing on Facebook productive?  Most times, not.  It was just a way of killing time, or beating the boredom, or filling the loneliness.  Yes, I head up a Women’s Ministry where most of what I do is on Facebook, but I’m talking about the things outside of what I do in this ministry.  I was using Facebook to fill those voids in my life, when I actually should have been turning to the Lord!  Yes, I could hear God’s voice in the background asking for time with Him, but did I give it to Him?  Not always.  In fact, if I am going to be honest about all this, not a lot of the time!  I hate admitting that, but it’s the truth!  I was putting Facebook above God.  I was worshipping an idola false God was getting my worship instead of where my worship should have been going!

Can you see yourself in any of this?  I know I am not the only one.  If I were to come to your home and tell you that I was going to remove all of your televisions in your home for 30 days, how would you, and your family, react?  Would you panic?  Would you begin to get nervous?  Would you fight me to keep your televisions?  If so, your televisions are an idol in your home, and in your own life!

If I were to come to your home and tell you that I was only going to give you just enough money to pay your bills, buy groceries and gas, and a $25/week allowance, how would you feel?  Would you begin to panic?  Would you freak out wondering how you were going to buy all of those other things that you so desperately wanted, and just had to have?  I see another idol in your life!   Believe me, I am preaching to the choir here, too, Sister!!  I’m seeing these things in my own life, as well!  But I want to show you what the Lord has been teaching me about this, so that YOU can walk away from the idols, as well.

I’m not saying I am an expert in this area because this is all brand new to me, sort of.  I’ve known about all this stuff for many years, but to be honest, I’ve never really put them into practice.  I’ve just begun to realize how much of an idol certain things are in my life!  So I’m walking this journey along with you!  I just want to share what the Lord has laid on my heart, so you can begin to meditate on these things, too!

Matt6_24

I looked up the word mammon to get its true meaning.  It means: riches or material wealth.  But, I also looked at some synonyms of the word mammon.  This is what I found:

  • Possessions
  • Money
  • Gold
  • Almighty Dollar
  • Graven image
  • Idol

There’s that word again!!  Did you see it?  IDOL …  We just can’t get away from it, can we?

In verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 10, we are told that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able; that He will provide a way out.

Then in verse 14, we are told to flee idolatry.

If God is telling us to flee idolatry, and that He will provide a way out, we need to take Him at His word, and realize that it CAN be done! He isn’t going to tell us to do something if there isn’t a way to do it!  When I finally come to the decision that I am ready to remove the idols in my life, He will provide a way for me to handle the voids in my life!.  I need to trust that when I am struggling, all I need to do is pray and He will provide a way out.

I can choose to walk by the flesh and cave into these cravings for the idols in my life; or I can choose to walk by the Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.  The choice really is mine!

Ask yourself the same questions I’ve had to ask myself:  Is God really a priority in my life?  

I’ll be back Friday to finish up this quick series.  Until then, enjoy your 4th of July Holiday!

In His Love,

Christi

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About Christi Wilson

Founder of GCH. She lives in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.
Christi is the wife to her wonderful husband Gary, mom/step-mom to her four amazing kids, and grandmother to ten gorgeous Grandchildren.

Comments

  1. Thanks, Christi, for another good reminder that when we get our priorities straight we will RUN the race God has set for each of us FREE of earthly idols.This is not always easy. I DON’T NEED most of what I have, but I DO NEED HIM. I am reminded on a regularly basis to “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

    • Yes, Clella, we all NEED HIM! Apart from Him, we can do nothing on our own! (John 15:5)
      Seeking Him first, keeps our eyes focused on Him, but it is also critical to listen and obey His voice. Obeying is always the hard part for our flesh!! Our flesh wants, and sometimes craves, these things. Denying our selves and taking up our cross (Luke 9:23) is a daily habit we all need to get into. Oh how He loves us so, that He can be so patient with us during these times of weakness, and learning!! But praise God, we ARE able to do ALL things through Him, in HIS strength!! AMEN!! Thank You Lord!

  2. Good comments, Christi. But let’s not forget that idols can begin as simple, benign things like hobbies, outside interests, etc. Not just the things you mentioned. An idol is ANYTHING that takes our focus off of the one true God. It could be sports, crafts, you name it! Often they can start as good things that are given by God for our enjoyment but we begin to desire these things more than the Creator Himself.

  3. so important to keep the Great i AM in His rightful place! so thankful for the conviction of the holy spirit AND the loving help of each other to stay idol free! <3

  4. Agreed! And for the benign things I mentioned, we find easy ways to justify them because they’re not “illicit”. We rationalize (“it’s a game of golf, not like I’m gambling”, “it’s a hobby, not like doing drugs”, etc) and make it more innocent because of the type of activity. But in the end … an idol is still an idol, and our God is a jealous God.

  5. Sherrie Y says:

    Awesome blog, Christi!
    You might like to read Counterfeit God’s by Timothy Keller. It is a quick read and goes right along with this.

  6. Ahmee B. says:

    I laughed and then I cried and then I smiled. On June 6th, I asked God a question: How can you fullfill my deepest longing, if I seek your face? To me it felt like he was giving me spiritual when I was asking for physical (companionship). ( My dad always says, things are spiritual first, physical second- so I shoulda know!) Five days later I found myself reading 1 king… who does that?! (During this time I read Gods at War by Kyle Idleman, which is all about idolatry.) I found myself yelling at the kings and the people. God would do such great things, even in their unfaithfulness, sometimes they’d get it together, but most times they worshipped their stupid idols. I was so perplexed and frustrated at the end, I had to take a break before reading 2 kings. God showed me me in the lives of those kings. I do the same. I have my own golden calves that “brought me out of Egypt.” (Not sure why they love their cows, of all things.”

    One thing about idolatry that stands out to me is that GOOD things/desires can become idols. My desire to have my own family for example. My desire to know my purpose. Both are good things, but God has shown me that I’ve wanted them more than him. Control is another one of mine. The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis, although fictional, is another good read on idolatry. Idolatry is so common place, we don’t even, often, notice we have a problem. I’m thankful for this mini-series.

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