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Posts Tagged ‘serving’

If we were sitting face to face and I asked, “What do you think God considers idols?” My guess is that you would say things like cars, money, work, and hobbies.

You would be correct, what about affirmation, worry, significance, perfection, or children? Each one of these can take their place above God.

When I become anxious, I am putting the situation above God. In a sense, I’m telling Him “You can’t deal with this situation; if I worry enough the result will turn out better”.

I believe that many people have facebook accounts to gain as many friends as possible in order to feel popular. They check hundreds of times a day to see how many “likes” they get on a picture or comment.

How do I know? I am one, and it’s not just facebook.
Two years ago, God impressed on my heart to write a blog. Without my knowing, it too, turned into an idol

One day I checked the stats of my blog and saw there were only 1,034 hits in two years.

Depressed I called a friend.

“I guess I need to chuck it all in. Good bloggers and writers have thousands of hits monthly, not a thousand in two years.” I stated, “I know the numbers shouldn’t matter, but I guess people don’t like it, and I’m not being an encouragement to anyone except the same people over and over again.”

She responded, “Why does it matter so much to you that people like it or not?”

“Because, it’s the a way I know I’m doing what God wants of me.”

“Why?”

“Because when people like it, I know I’m loved by God.”

“Christine,” she paused, “Go deeper. Why do you have to have people’s approval more than God’s approval?”

I couldn’t answer right away. “Well, because when people affirm, to me it’s God’s way of affirming me.”

“Why?”

“I’ll have to think and pray about it.”

I pictured her grinning on the other end of phone line.

That Sunday we started a new series in our Sunday school god’s at War by Kyle Idleman. Coincidence?

Kyle’s definition of an idol:

“Anything or anyone I live for other than God is an idol.”*

So the deeper was revealed.  Subconsciously, I was saying, “God you aren’t good enough or big enough to meet these desires or needs.”

These aren’t the only things in my life that I was placing above God. My middle daughter, anxiety, and worry were all placed ahead of God. These are about situations out of my control and were taking the place of God. I trusted myself to control situations, when trust needed to be placed in the more capable hands of God.

The next morning during my devotional time, the realization of the idols in my life overwhelmed like a tidal wave crashing on shore and the tears flowed. Now that I knew the deeper issue, I desired change. I had to:

“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served…” Joshua 24:15 (NIV1984)

It’s a moment by moment, situation by situation choice. I’m not going to be perfect; eventually, I will worry again. The journey to change will be long and hard.

What about you? Here are seven questions Kyle asked in his video:

1. What disappoints you? Ex: not having spouses/bosses respect.
2. What do you sacrifice money and time to?
3. What worries you? Ex: children, finances.
4. Where do you go when you need comfort? God or man?
5. What makes you angry? Ex: when someone embarrasses you.
6. What are your dreams?*

The final question he presented this way:

“God is a jealous God and will put Himself in direct competition with that idol and say to you ’_______ (insert your name) you have a choice between me or _______ (insert your idol), who do you choose?’”*

I can’t tell you how many times the last question has popped into my head during a day. I never realized how automatic it has been to go straight to the idols of affirmation or worry.

What is getting in the way of your relationship with God? Like a husband who loves his wife so much he doesn’t want another man to come between them, so God loves us so much and wants to be our one and only.

Who do you choose?

http://www.amazon.com/Gods-War-Defeating-Idols-Battle/dp/031031884X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409532167&sr=1-1&keywords=god%27s+at+war

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Christmas is over, the new year has begun. Usually, I have a let down the days that follow. Not because of the lack of gifts or not getting what I want, but it’s over so fast. There is so much anticipation, and preparation,  and in it’s over in one day.

This time is different in many respects, my emotions have been through a lot of ups and downs, but this has also been the best Christmas ever. Not because of the gifts received but because of the one gift that was given to my parents.

My husband has been doing a series in our Sunday school about being biblical care givers to our parents. For two weeks we talked about honoring them. We looked at the Ten Commandments and smack dab in the middle of all the “do nots” is number five, “Honor your father and mother”. Later on scripture says “so that it may go well with you”.  Strange? With all the “big” commandments, God holds honoring our parents with the same importance. Honoring is not a choice but a command.

My husband and I decided that on Christmas we would present my parents with a certificate that honored their fifty years of service to the body of Christ.  It was awesome to sit down and think of all the ways they ministered to the church body through volunteering. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I remembered not only what they do now, but what they did when I was growing up and even before I was born.

The question could be asked, “What about those who have a lousy parent or parents?” I thought about that too, for I know of a few and you can read about those parents in the paper. Maybe you’re one who had an abusive parent. I’ll be honest with you; I can’t answer that question only God can. Perhaps it’s just the simple fact that they gave you life instead of terminating the pregnancy (You are very special to God and He has great plans for you) but again only God can give you the way(s) you can honor that parent.

My husband’s parents are both gone so in his case how could he honor them?  Back in Biblical days there were no last names but you were known by your father’s name. For example: My husband would be known as Mike son of Gerald. So the way they lived, reflected back to their father.  I feel my husband does bring honor to his parents by the way he lives his life.

Mind you our parents are not and were not perfect. They have flaws and even handed down bad habits, but they also have handed down wonderful, God honoring traits that are worthy of honoring.

How about you? Do you find yourself focusing on the negative things your parents did? Maybe they were short tempered or displayed some other “negative” issue. Seek God. Ask Him to show you ways that you can honor your parents in the new year. Through honoring them, you are obeying God. You will be glad you did. I am still overwhelmed  that God led us to honor them in the way we did.

“Honor your father and mother –which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:3 (NIV 1984)

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