I’m coming into the understanding that God often asks His children to do stuff that’s just way too hard. Impossible in fact. If we do it in and of ourselves that is… I found myself frustrated, discouraged and battling condemnation this weekend when I fell into some old unhealthy thought patterns. Holy Spirit was pointing out an old idol I thought had been long gone but may have, in fact, just been in hiding. He actually pointed out several idols, but thankfully not all at once. Did you know that what you think about the most is what you worship? What we set our thoughts on is what becomes magnified and if it is not God, then it becomes greater than God. In other words, it becomes an idol.
Recently, I was listening to a Christian radio show and the woman being interviewed shared her testimony about idolizing food. She shared that she would frequently visit the local bakery after work and purchase a chocolate chip cookie or another type of dessert. When her husband wasn’t providing her with the emotional support she needed and she was dog tired from work, she told herself she deserved that cookie. But what God showed her is that what she was actually doing was finding comfort in the cookie instead of in Him. She came to a point where she felt that the cookie was standing between her and God. That in fact she was choosing the cookie over God. I almost stopped listening right there for fear of having to be accountable to this information! I certainly use food as a comfort and have battled with my weight my whole life. I had never thought of the fact that when we choose to find comfort in something other than God, then we are choosing that something over God. How silly is it to think of a cookie as being greater than God? But our hearts will place earthly, material things above Christ time and time again, just like the children of Israel who could not wait for Moses to come off the mountain (Exodus 32). They were so impatient to wait on God, they ended up creating a golden calf to bow down to and worship. How often do we do this?
The radio hosts also shared that the idol we worship will always demand a sacrifice. We see this easily with addictive substances. Drugs, sex and food, once abused and misused, become idols and demand our time, energy, and usage. They take over and we spiral out of control until we are no longer recognizable (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc…).
Once God highlighted the idol in my heart, instead of humbling myself and admitting my weakness, I grew angry with myself. Angry that I yet again was struggling with something I felt should have been non existent after a certain time frame. It wasn’t until He kept using different sources to remind me to glory in my weakness, that I realized my response was incorrect. I know my response stemmed from a desire to be perfect. The deception in perfectionism is that it is rooted in self-righteousness. Christ’s blood has already made us perfect and blameless. Yet, I often find myself desiring perfection apart from Him. (Am I the only one?) But God’s answer is not condemnation; it is humility & repentance (repeat this a few times if needed). He uses our weaknesses to show us that where we are weak, He is truly strong. Just as David used a stone to defeat Goliath, God will use our weaknesses to defeat the giants we face in our lives. Giants of sexual sin, addictions, gossip, lying, anxiety, fill in the blank. He will use those very things that tried to hinder our call and distract us from our purpose, to slay our enemies. So, I suppose instead of being frustrated at being weak, we can now rejoice because Christ will use it for our good. Everything works together for the good, for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. And you are called Beloved. Truly you are called.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10