Lately, I have been having a lot of ‘stuff’ going on! I have just been feeling heavy, and weary, without knowing why. It is crazy because I didn’t even see what all I was doing to make me feel so busy. The problem was not that the outside world of mine was busy. It was my inside world that was cray cray (that means crazy)!
My mind was filled with all sorts of things. There was lots of business, that kept me from being able to pray. I would sit to pray and was not able to get still in my heart enough to even speak to God. My next go-to was a journal, my favorite pastime. And nope... that didn’t work either.
I just couldn't get my heart and mind quiet enough to actually put pen to paper. I couldn’t hear my own thoughts. It was very bothersome. I was agitated and I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what was causing it.
It was like a closed door that would not open. I felt like something had to change and I had to examine my heart, with searching eyes behind all of the hiddenness. I could not continue bypassing something that needed to be made right.
I realized that a lot of my time was going to social media. Not just the ones I am active on for sharing Christ- namely Instagram. No, it was YouTube to be specific.
Man you get on there, meaning to watch one video. Then, 2 hours later! I am not kidding guys, I was spending hours watching YouTube videos. Now, I was not watching anything that was ‘bad’ per say, but it was stealing a lot of my time.
It is kind of embarrassing, but I don’t think I am alone. This culture is all about media. This is our entertainment now. We don’t watch T.V. We watch Hulu, or Netflix, or Redbox.
We no longer have commercials to sit through in our living rooms. Now, we have ads to scroll through, and even more...We are the commercials. They give common people sponsors to do the advertisements for them. A win-win for both participants.
IT IS NOT JUST ME!
This is where we are in this era; So, I know it is not just me. We pick up our phones so many times throughout the day. They ding and buzz at us frequently. We have computers and pads (all that I gladly own) that also notify us constantly.
There is nothing wrong with them. There is nothing inherently wrong with YouTube and all the other many social media platforms. But, with so many of them available, the noise begins to get louder and louder...accompanied with our normal crazy life!
This is where I lived. After praying about it, I began to realize the need for silence. Though, I was resistant to it. Why was that? Because we like our idols!
Even the thought of them being taken away makes us turn into 3-year-old toddlers that will stubbornly do anything to keep our toys. However, like a good father, our Heavenly Father knows what is best for us! If we can hold our pretty and treasured things with an open hand, we are free to have our toys.
The danger comes when our Father decides something needs to change and we cling to resistance in keeping them. I was so bothered by the fact that I was irritated. Really, it was like, “NO...I want it!” So silly. It was YouTube guys! But, it can be anything.
IDOLS IN MANY FORMS!
It could be shoes or purses. It could be make-up or shopping. It could be needing the hottest gadgets. It is could be another unneeded Starbucks drink... or whatever else. You know whatever it is for you. The thing specifically doesn’t even matter. It is about the One it is keeping you from.
If God tells you to look at an area in your life and you begin to make excuses to hang on to it...that my friend is a sign of an idol. That has to change! It comes down to the question of which do you love more?
Obviously, God is better and more satisfying than anything the world can offer. The best of this world is nothing when we look at our God! So, with the Spirits help, I decided to surrender. I decided not to go to YouTube.
Of course, my mind said… “but I watch tons of sermons. Sermons aren’t bad...now, where am I gonna find sermons?” I felt the Lord leading me to the thought, “Do you not have your Bible?” The truth is that the same God and the same Bible that inspired those preacher's sermons is from the same God I have and are out of the same Bible sitting on my nightstand.
"But...but, I find really good Christian music on there,” I fought inwardly. Then I felt lead to think, “Well don’t you have a hymnal...oh not good enough? Okay, what about all of those songs you already have downloaded?”
Goodness, when your idols are taken, you realize how big of a role they have been in your life... and how poorly of a job they do. So I did it! For a while, I decided to step back. Let me tell you, my mind was silenced.
I found myself resting on my bed, with my Bible, in my sweatpants, with coffee...just listening. I noticed that everything was quiet, a melodic line of clarity. I had a peace in my heart and mind, that only God could give, a release of all the noise. Why? Why was I resistant? I believed the lie.
The same lie that the enemy presented to the first two humans on earth. They fell for him, and there went the pattern. We keep falling for it.
We fall for the lie that something is better than God. Something in front of us will give us more than what our Creator can and will give. The enemy is crafty, in the way He presents the lies to each one of us, but he uses the same lie in different ways.
REPLACING THE IDOL!
If you ever take something away, you have to replace it. We don’t do well with empty spaces in our lives. Something will fill them. What is most important is what we allow to fill those spaces? Will it just be with another idol?
Sometimes the hangup for us is that though we may recognize an idol, in our attempt to solve it, we trade it for another idol. That does no good. We must be intentional about replacing them with God alone!
Nothing else! He alone is worthy to be what we pattern and fill our lives with. He gave His life for us. He sent Jesus to die for us, sinful, selfish, self-centered, and self-pleasing selves.
JESUS OF GRACE!
Jesus saw us as a reward, a prize! He chose us as His trophies of grace. What a gift it is to be a child of God. It seems so great of a sentence for me to even write, but we are sisters to our Elder Brother. He is our Brother!
Woah! Like, think about that, our BROTHER! That brings tears to my eyes. God is so gracious to even offer repentance. He is so merciful to draw us back with loving strings, not ones of condemnation.
We share in His inheritance. We are citizens of Heaven. We have been moved from the kingdom of darkness to one of light. We have been given eternal lives. All of this is promised only to those who have entered through Christ! When we come to the Father, through Christ, we gain everything.
Lets ask the loving Creator of all, full of truth and all we can ever desire, to take away all of our idols. The Bread of Heaven and Living Water is our Jesus. The Holy Spirit and all of His fullness live in us! We count it all loss for Him who gives us all of Himself! What a salvation we have been given! Hallelujah!