What we are missing and craving most during this difficult time will tell us where our deepest desires lie. As Christians, we know we should never worship idols, and it’s easy to read the Old Testament and be tempted to say we don’t have any idols in our life. We didn’t craft a golden calf or an Asherah pole or sacrifice to false gods on alters we built. But an idol is really anything we put above God. Yeesh. That changes things a bit because I bet there are a ton of things you can think of that you put before God. Maybe not at first, but give it a minute. Really examine your heart. If you go a day without praying to God or reading His word (i.e. spending time with Him), do you miss Him like you would a boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, best friend, sibling, etc.? In contrast, do you get more upset when you have to miss your favorite TV show than you do when you forget to set aside time with God? If you have 2 hours left in the day before bed and you haven’t spent time with God yet, do you still opt instead to watch a movie or play a game? Are hours of your day spent on social media wondering what the world is up to and then get to the end of the day and just say you didn’t have enough time to do Bible study?
These are convicting questions. And the only reason I can so quickly come up with them is because they’re examples of things I’ve done and questioned in my own heart. I’m preaching to the choir here so please don’t take offense. But please, examine your life and heart with me for a minute.
I think the season we’re all in is such a great time to let God search our hearts and show us our idols. What are you missing most in this season of solitude? Is it sports? Time with friends and family? Travel? Freedom to do as you please? Events you wanted to go to? None of these things are bad in and of themselves and some are really great such as fellowship with other believers even! But as we’re always warned: do not put the creation over the Creator. If we crave these things more than we desire time with our sweet Lord, where does our treasure truly lie? Anything we put above God is an idol and thus sin, whether by itself it is even considered a holy deed. Take missionary work for example. Arguably one of the most selfless things a person can do for God on this earth. Yet if as a missionary, we put that work and the importance of it over God, it is an idol in our lives and thus sin.
I know this seems very knit-picky but our hearts are so incredibly complicated and we so easily slip into sin at every turn if we don’t keep it in check. I encourage you in this (hopefully) calmer and slower season, to examine your heart to see what you miss most. Make sure you aren’t putting the want for that over the need for God. It’s probably safe to say we all struggle with at least one idol in our lives. As soon as we conquer one and tear it down, here comes another to fight to keep our attention from the One true God. But if we seek God, are faithful to Him, and tear down the false alters in our lives, God will bless us. I see this over and over as I’ve been studying the Old Testament. God is so patient with us. Again and again the Israelites fell away from God and built idols and worshiped them. But if they would see their sin for what it was, turn from it, and tear it down, God would be merciful once again to His people. He loves you and wants you to know Him. If we would but follow Him and His Word, He will bless us.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
I pray this slower pace of life right now is a great time for us to let God search our hearts and reveal anything we’re putting above Him (Psalm 139:23-24). That we may tear those idols down so we can continue to be molded into His beautiful image.
Until next time, sweet friends.