God is most Glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him
Lately these are the questions that have been resonating over and over again in my head; Am I truly satified in Christ ? Is He enough ? If I were to lose everything and everyone around me, would I still have joy and peace, knowing that Christ is All that I really need ?
I must admit that it is hard to examine myself this way, to look at my deepest motives, fears, desires; and see if God really is all that lies there, or if I am substituting an idol in His place. God has been showing me in a LOT of different ways over the past year that I have huge idols that have taken His place, and all while showing me this, He has begun to rip those idols from my clenched fingers. These are idols that are so imbedded in my heart that it is almost as if I bleed as He tears them away. It has been agonizing and the more that He puts me in a place where all I am left at is with Him, the more I try and cling to those things that I have put in His place.
What I have learned, in a slow and painful process, is that if you are truly a child of God, He WILL NOT allow you to remain as you are and He WILL NOT allow you to cling to idols in place of Him. As John Calvin says, our mortal hearts are idol factories, and if left to ourselves, we will create one idol after another for ourselves to cling to. The crazy thing about this, is that those of us who are Christians do this knowing that God is the only one who can truly satisfy us and meet all of our wants and needs. God, as an all loving Father, knows that if left to myself, I would destroy myself entirely. So He has begun the process of leading me to a place in my life where He is all that I have, He and nothing else.
I want to learn to lean on Him apart from anything else, I hate these idols that have taken hold in my life, the ones that have risen up without my even knowing that they were present…and yet at the same time I love these idols and it brings me fear to think about parting with them. I don’t rejoice in that truth…but I have to be honest with myself. I hate the sin that I see there, but my flesh at the same time screams out to have it left alone, to be able to hold onto these idols that I have kept so close, so hidden, for so long. I truly feel like Paul in these moments as I battle within myself to kill these idols and to give everything I am completely over to God. I find myself screaming out as Paul did in Romans 7, on my knees and in tears so many times reading over this scripture and praying that God would change my heart and take away this wickedness that is still left behind.
“For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”
I want to be truly satisfied in Christ. I do not want there to be anything between myself and Him, I want these idols torn to the ground, demolished, gone forever. I want to be filled with Him and only with Him, so that I can grow to be more like Christ, to live in a manner pleasing to Him, in a manner that would glorify Him in all that I think, say and do.
I know that there are those of you reading this who feel the same way, who are in the middle of spiritual warfare with your flesh and with the principalities of darkness. I understand what you are going through, and I want to encourage you to stay faithful to your first love. Fight the good fight and keep your eyes on Him. I know what it is like to struggle and that there will be days when you just want to give into your sin and your idols, but these things are only temporal and He will give us strength to fight against our idols. Beloved, we can see “…that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3) so if He has already enabled us with everything that we need to fight against our sin and idols, we need not fear or despair.
I have written this post to First of all, encourage those of you who are currently where I am, so that you can know that you are not alone and that there are brethren out there whom God is growing, molding and testing the same way that He is you. Secondly, I am writing this post in hopes that those of you who have been where we are now can offer hope and encouragement to those who are struggling deeply right now and who need the support and love from the brethren. Last of all, I am writing this for myself. I need to stay focused on Christ in the middle of these daily spiritual, mental and emotional battles that I am going through. I want to make sure that my heart and mind stays focused on Him because I know that just as the Hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” talks about, I am so prone to wander from my Lord and to stray far from Him, that I need to do everything within my power to remain with my eyes fixed upon Him and ONLY upon Him.
My precious beloved brethren, let us make it our top priority to work on tearing down the idols of our hearts this week so that Christ can fill it completely. If you haven’t taken time to examine your hearts, please PLEASE do that. Idols = Sin and Sin = Death and Destruction!! Sit down this week with a pen, a notebook and your Bible and begin to write out what those idols are. Pray, seek His face, dig into Scripture and ask Him to reveal these things to you that are causing separation from Him and that are causing you to be less satisfied in Him and more satisfied in the world. It may not be instantaneously revealed to you, but keep your eyes open this week, look for areas where you are prone to sin. Maybe in your marriage you are clinging to your husband more than God, making your husband your idol and what he thinks of you or wants you to do more important than what God wants. Maybe your idol is your children, you put them before God, making them more of a priority than anything else in your life. Maybe it is your home or your finances or your job. Whatever it may be, keep your eyes open and your heart teachable this week, ask God to reveal these areas that need to be changed and be open to change as He directs you in these areas, because He will.
God desires to bring you closer to Himself and the more teachable you are, the less he has to beat and pound you, the more moldable you are to Him, the easier it will be for Him to mold you into the image of His Son. God will NOT leave you as you are if you are His child, so whether He has to pound you or mold you gently, He will do whatever is necessary because as Philippians 1:6 says;
“I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
I am going to work on really keeping in the forefront of my mind this week, these verses in Hebrews 12:1-4 and I hope that those of you reading this will work on doing the same;
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin”
I encourage you to write these verses down, tape them to places in your home where you are going to constantly see them throughout the day; your bathroom mirror, the cabinets in your kitchen, your fridge, the corner of your computer. For those of you who are out most of the day, tape them to the dash of your car, make them a screensaver on your cell phone, set your computer or cell phone to send you reminders every few hours throughout the day to read through these verses. Just these small steps can make a huge difference in your attitude throughout the day and your battle with the idols and sin in your heart. Each time you read these verses, pray that God would equip you with strength to stand up for Him and that He would put Christ in front of your eyes so that all you see is Him. We need to bury His Word deep in our hearts and make seeking Him constantly something that becomes like second nature to us.
I encourage you to share with me some of the things that you are struggling with and how I can lift you up in prayer. James 5:16 reminds us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Let me know how this post has helped you and what God is currently doing in your life and how He has or is currently helping you to tear down the idols of your heart.