Things We Idolize


The Lord has been allowing me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling as the Heart of a Woman study asked us to initiate a fast. Several things came to mind that I could give up, but the Lord kept taking me back to deleting Instagram, Facebook, and all social media off of my phone during the week. Laurie explained fasting a few weeks ago as not just giving something up for the Lord, but replacing that thing with something beneficial for the Lord. Each time I went to my phone to attempt to scroll through my Instagram feed, I instead was able to go to my notes section where I had verses the Lord was calling me to read through or to simply be in the moment and put my phone down all together. Laurie also explained that as I say NO to something like social media, I am practicing saying NO to my flesh when the enemy tempts me in the days to come. This is such a sweet picture of why fasting can be so important. The majority of the time I am able to say yes to anything I want — a cookie, a new dress, hitting that snooze button one more time. Practicing denying my flesh of earthly desires is something I need to work on in order to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I know I will know Him more as I deny self and pickup my cross daily. However, I must confess that I still had a bad attitude about fasting when I read the words, “Initiate Fast” on the page in my book.

I went outside to take my dog out before bed around 10:30 PM the first day I gave up social media. I typically spend this time standing on my porch looking at my friends’ (and strangers’) pictures from the day. Without my phone, I decided to walk outside and wait for my dog to finish his business. I couldn’t help but look up at the sky — the stars stretched as far as I could see. The moon had a bright glow around it that nearly light up the entire sky. I couldn’t believe the sight in my backyard considering the fact I live in the middle of a city. The view was unbelievable and I couldn’t help but think how often I miss God’s creation because I am too busy looking down at my phone. The Lord provided a sweet time with Him as I felt His presence so clearly being outside alone with no distractions or noises. Thanks be to God for reminding me right away why He called me to fast from something so simple.

Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens : Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

As I have been working through my sinful fruits each week it wasn’t too hard to see the patterns. Each week I wrote things like:

  •  jealousy of what someone else has
  •  lack of concern for the lost
  •  shopping too much
  •  wasting time on my phone

A few weeks back as we began unpacking the root of these sins, I easily chalked them up to my selfish desires and pride. It wasn’t until this past week that the Lord clearly asked me to dig into why these sins keep occurring in my life. I was looking over the list of roots in the back of the Bible study book and it was almost as if one of the words at the bottom of the page was larger and bolder than the others. Idolatry. I have many idols in my life that the Lord was wanting me to be aware of. I am jealous of what others have because I think “things” will bring me fulfillment. I am not concerned about the lost because I have made this earth an idol instead of having an eternal focus. I shop too much because, again, I think those “things” will bring happiness. And finally, I spend time on social media way too much because I don’t want to miss out on anything or what anyone has to say. I idolize the people and things of this earth. I often long for my earthly friends and earthly things to satisfy me more than I rely on my salvation to bring me joy.

My husband and I are expecting our first child this summer and with pregnancy comes a lot of excitement but also some fears and worries. We have been praying for our unborn daughter since we found out that we were expecting. Several months ago my husband shared with me that he had been convicted about what we had been praying for her. Each day we pray for protection, growth, health, and safety. He shared with me that sometimes the Lord does His best work during adversity, and that although we want our daughter to be safe and protected, it is more important for us to be praying God’s will over her life no matter what the cost. This was a hard pill for me to swallow. I so much want our tiny baby to be protected and safe from any danger as God allows me to carry her in my womb. However, I knew my husband was right. The Lord’s will for her life is so much better than we can hope, dream, or imagine. It isn’t wrong to pray the things that we had been praying over her life before and we do still pray protection over our daughter, but we have surrendered her to the Lord oftentimes praying, “Lord, whatever your will is for our daughter, may it be done. May you use her for your glory for her entire life no matter the cost. Amen.”

It is still hard for me to pray that prayer months into it. Today I was reading Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love, and I came across this section: “Haven’t we all prayed the following prayer? Lord, we pray for safety as we travel. We ask that no one gets hurt on this trip. Please keep everyone safe until we return, and bring us back safely. In Jesus’s name we pray, amen. The exact wording may vary a bit, but that is the standard prayer we recite before leaving on mission trips, retreats, vacations, and business trips. We are consumed by safety. Obsessed with it, actually. Now, I’m not saying it is wrong to pray for God’s protection, but I am questioning how we’ve made safety our highest priority. We’ve elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God’s best is, whatever would bring God the most glory, or whatever would accomplish His purposes in our life and in the world. Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God, bring me closer to you during this trip, whatever it takes….”

I almost had a lump in my throat. Nearly the same words my husband confronted me with months before were flashing across the page again. You see, the Lord is teaching me that comfort, safety, and this world are my idols. The things of this earth are so often put above my Savior. It is hard to admit as I do my Bible study each morning and go to church each week. I really do want and long to spend time with Him but I know that I don’t always want Him more than a shopping spree at the mall or even something more serious, the safe delivery of my daughter. I am thankful the Lord has opened my eyes to this idolatry in my heart. I have been praying each morning that the Lord would be all I need, that if I lost everything else, He and His grace would be enough.

Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Standing on the Word


1 reply
  1. Tspeters2004 says:

    Wow! That is truly convicting for me…. I am having a lot of medical problems right now, and honestly, I just want them to figure out what’s wrong and fix it! Perhaps, He has a bigger purpose. A higher meaning for His plan…

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