Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "It Might Not Be What You Think"

It used to be that when I would think of idols, I would think only of the tangible kind: Think the hand-carved "immunity idol" on the show Survivor or the ones made by the Israelites in Numbers 33:51-53.

Over the last few years, my eyes were opened to the not-so-tangible kind... the ones that are much harder to spot... the ones that are readily available at any time and have been carved into our lives over a period of time.

Before I go on, please let me state my understanding of idols. An idol, as I understand it, is anything that takes the place of God in our lives. It's the persons, places or things in which we find satisfaction... in place of God. We end up worshipping these things because we give glory and honor to ___________ instead of God for the satisfaction in our lives.

We can even slip into idolatry. I say slip because I believe it's just that at times... a slip up if you will... but oh so quick that we might not even notice such a "minor thing".

You might think that TV is not an idol for you but then you catch yourself becoming unhappy and unsatisfied if you don't get to watch your favorite show. Now, I don't mean disappointed here. I mean mad. Have you ever been downright mad when you didn't get to watch a show on TV? You may be depending on that TV show to make you happy and fulfilled. Often times a TV show fills that empty space for 30 minutes or an hour. The true satisfaction you get from God comes from a place far deeper than a shallow show.

Please let me say... I don't believe there's anything wrong with using TV shows for what they were intended... to entertain; however, when it becomes a lifeline for you... there could be a problem.

Here's a big one... money. Money in itself can be good. But, when you look to money for your happiness and satisfaction, it becomes an idol. Buying most anything provides for some happiness and satisfaction (don't get me wrong here) but when your happiness and satisfaction depend on what you can afford... there could be a problem. I don't think there's anything wrong with buying a fancy new car or fabulous diamonds, but when you look to those things for happiness and security and to be satisfied... you are often not looking to God for what only He can provide.

We were created with a longing that can only be filled by God.

When we look to earthy things to fill that void, ironically we will be left empty.


  1. If you were like me at the end of the reading today, you were a little afraid to turn to the back of the book for the study questions... thinking they might get a little too personal and be hard to answer. Anybody?

    #1 was easy on the ears... and here's my answer: God created a nagging sense of dissatisfaction in us because He wants us to solely depend on Him and seek Him 1st. When we seek God 1st, all the treasures He longs to lavish upon us are ours.

    #2 and #3 are more difficult for me. Why does the Bible call seeking satisfaction in anything but God the sin of idolatry? What forms have idols taken in your personal experience?

    These 2 ... I need to pray about. Maybe I'm thinking too literally here... but I don't know why the Bible calls it "idolatry." My first thought is that the things we look to for satisfaction become idols. I am seeking scholarly guidance on this one.

    #3 should be easy to answer... but I need to take a closer look to make sure I'm being completely honest with myself and God. I can tell you that TV and money have both been idols for me in the past. I can honestly say that TV is not an idol anymore but money continues to be a problem. Now, when I catch myself having thoughts about money providing my happiness, I take that thought captive to God. I'm not perfect, but I do try not to let money become an idol again.

    What are your thoughts today? Feel free to answer anonymously instead of not answering at all. Captives all over creation need to be set free and the truth is a key component to true freedom.

    With Love on the Journey,


  2. The idol I have been currently struggling with is a new, bigger house. I had convinced myself that if we had a bigger house, we would be neater. We would have a place to put everything and everyone. I have poured over real estate websites looking at what we could and could not afford. A favorite past time is going to ride around and look at houses and neighborhoods. Maybe an innocent Sunday afternoon pasttime, but I have gone by myself during the week. Big eye opener this morning- A house will not make me happy. I have been worshipping this concept for the last few years. Only God can fulfill my heart and my happiness. Not a building- bigger or not. I have fought with my husband and complained incessantly. I will now be in daily prayer to stop this. I have in the past felt/sensed that if I only let go, things would be better, but I have never fully let it go.- please be in prayer that I will set this idol down forever.

  3. It is amazing what idolatry can do. First we sin by having an idol, then we sin because we rationalize the need for the first sin, and the we sin a third time because we feel guilt for having the first sin and then Not rocket science-sin begets sin! I find myself back on my knees(I'm seeing big dents in the carpet) thanking God for His mercy and Beth for again opening my eyes to my need for the only answer to all sin Christ and God's promise-Return to me,for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22.

  4. JBM, I will pray for you and I'm going to add you to the prayer list (Stop, Drop and Pray). Thank you, again, for your transparent and open answers. Don't forget to lay this down before the feet of our Lord and tell Him the desires of your heart. He already knows but is DELIGHTED when we admit the depths of our heart to Him. You have already done that here with us and I know He is smiling on you!

    Jan, Thank you SO MUCH for continuing to share your insight with us! I appreciate your honesty and openness. You are a picture of grace and what it means to stop, drop and pray : ) I can just see those dents in the carpet! : ) Keep at it, girl! Thank you for reminding us of His promise in Isaiah!!!