Thursday, November 15, 2012

On Submission and Idolarty

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Earlier today in my personal bible time I was reading in 1 Kings, when I came across a few different verses that later manifested themselves in my life. I'll list out the verses and then explain.

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. -1 Kings 11:4-6

 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: -1 Kings 12:8

And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all his days. -1 Kings 15:11-14

Now these three passages are each talking about a different king, but we can learn from their mistakes and successes. When I read the first passage my heart was instantly pricked and I began to think what are the things that I am leading my husband after. The second passage got me to thinking about the counsel I receive from older godly women. The third passage got me to thinking about the things in my life I make idols of. 

These thoughts all sort of go together, but it wasn't until later in the day that I truly saw the connection. After I finished reading I prayed that the Lord would show me idols in my life and what things are competing affections. I have a definition that I wrote in the front of my bible about idolatry that I like to use. 
"Idolatry is expecting people, possessions, or positions to do for me what only God can"
I don't remember where I got this quote from, but it is something I use to kind of check myself. So after I prayed I looked at this quote and tucked it away in my mind as I continued through my day. 

I was backed up on dishes, so I went into the kitchen to start what I knew was going to be a bit of a task. I usually listen to a teaching or Revive Our Hearts while I wash dishes or work in the kitchen. But today I decided to listen to The Excellent Wife audio book, by Martha Peace. I went to take down my dish drainer and I realized that it had gotten a little yucky sitting up above my cabinets (I only use it when I have a lot of dishes to wash). I wanted to clean it one way that would of slightly inconvenienced my hubby, and doing it another way would of much more inconvenienced me. So I proceeded to ask him to change his plans so that I could do what I wanted. After all what I wanted to do was going to benefit us both. But he said no. "How on earth could he say no" I thought, so I explained to him exactly what he was asking me to do, and with a bit of a puzzled look on his face he simply replied "yea". 

Yea? Yea, what? Yea, you expect me to go out of my way and create more work for myself???? Frustrated, I huffed and puffed away. As I began moving things around, feeling completely inconvenienced and unloved, I mumbled under my breath "who does he think he is?" and  other things I will not be sharing here. Then I heard the voice reading Martha Peace's book begin to talk about submission and being a glory to your husband. I glared over at the speakers and really wanted to tell that lady to shut up! But then the Lord lovingly brought to mind 1 kings 12:8 "But he forsook the counsel of the old men..." Here I am desiring to be a godly wife but then rejecting the counsel of a woman who has gone before me, and even worse I sought her out! I went and got this audio book and turned it on, yet now I'm telling her to mind her business.  Talk about a convicted heart. 

I stood there washing my dishes, with a softened heart and listened as the reader continued. Then next thing I know she's talking about idols that a woman can make in her life, that might not seem like idols. Oh, boy. I can't remember everything she said word for word, but she was saying how often times the idea of having a godly marriage, and family, can become an idol because we loose sight of what's most important, GOD. We focus more on what we want, and even risk sinning to attain it, when really our only focus should be on God. That cut through me like a hot knife through butter. 

Am I guilty of that? Of course not... until she said that you can tell by your reaction when things don't go how you think they should. If you're seeking after the Lord you"ll have peace because you are resting in Him. But if you're seeking after something other than the Lord you'll be frustrated when things aren't fitting into you're plan. That's me! I like things to go my way, and when they don't I say, "Lord are you sure?" But that's not the way to go. Now the dish drainer situation is a small thing but if I have the wrong attitude in the small things how much more so will have the wrong attitude in the big things? My reaction shows that my heart was not focused of serving my family but rather just on getting a job done because I was supposed to. When my husband didn't do what I wanted I began thinking "is this how Christ loved the church?" Which is the totally the wrong attitude. (I won't even get into how she was talking about taking the beam out of you're own eye...)

I went from being hardhearted and angry because I was inconvenienced, to the Lord taking me through all the scriptures He had shown me. If I am not careful in keeping my gaze on Him I will loose focus, and create an idol. I could then end up forcing my husband into going after my idol and not fully after the Lord. If I do not harken to warnings of godly women who have gone before me, and instead focus on the ideals of this current culture,  I can hinder my husband from being who God wants him to be. All because of my need to chase after the idol of a godly marriage and family instead of just focusing on the Lord and allowing Him to bring about godliness in my marriage and family. Ouch, ouch, and ouch again. 

Do you have idols in your heart? Maybe yours are different from mine but examine your heart and cast away any competing affections. 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me...Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God... -Exodus 20:3&5

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  1. Amen, sister! Well said. Isn't God good, to draw us so sweetly unto Himself (even if we go kicking and screaming at first ;o)? Love you.

  2. kicking and screaming, exactly! lol

    But you're right God is so good, despite how undeserving we are. I'll never understand it, but I sure am thankful! Love you too :o)

  3. The best part is I can hear you saying this and even see your facial expression! This is a very tough thing for me as well. We really do have to be careful that we keep God the focus and not some image we have of the 'perfect Christian family' love it!

  4. I'm so glad you said that Jen, I so desire to really be me when I write. I want people to see that I'm totally messed up, but that I know Who can fix me. :o)

  5. What an amazing revelation, and thank you for sharing it! I have read that book before and really enjoyed it, I think I will read it again..


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Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24

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