In Galatians 5:1, God tells us that it's for our freedom that we've been set free. I used to think that was a pretty redundant statement...kinda like saying, "It's for ice cream that we've gone for ice cream." No duh. But as I continue further down this narrow path with my Heavenly Father, I am coming to understand more clearly what He means. He means, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36). Indeed! Certainly! Without a doubt! Clean through!
Isn't that what we all want? Total freedom? Oh. My. Yes.
That's what I want, and I'm thankful for the scoop of freedom that I've already tasted more than just about anything else in my life. But this journey toward more and more freedom can be so painful, can't it? It really is like a surgical procedure. Thankfully the Surgeon is in love with us.
A few months ago I started the first of a series of operations I'm going to call my idol-ectomy. With such faithful love, God has been shining His light on some of the most hidden motives of my heart - allowing me to see more and more of the truth about my deepest desires, and fears. It's been yuchy, but as I said before, I've experienced first-hand the blissful result of submitting my heart to God's surgeries in the past, which makes this temporary pain tolerable.
There's been some serious shaking involved in this procedure. It's just as it says in Hebrews 12:27: He's gonna shake the things that can be shaken to get down to the things that can't - the eternal things that really matter (my paraphrase). Some serious shake-n-bake is happening in this heart, I'll tell you. I've cried many tears. I've lost lots of sleep. I've been on my face in repentance and in total amazement of how much God loves me - and how much He longs for my WHOLE heart.
Here is a quote from an author I'm just getting to know through her book, Idol Lies: Facing the Truth about our Deepest Desires
Any time our deepest desire is for something other than God because we think that will satisfy us, a dangerous "soul idol" is forming. We may idolize the approval of people, our own comfort, or maintaining control. All of these can become "idol lies," things we value more than God.
I'm fessing up to at least two of those right now: approval of people and my own comfort. I'll also confess that I really believed I'd done business with these two years ago...and the truth is, I did. It's just that there is more God wants to get at, and He's made it very clear!
I'm still right in the middle of the praying, seeing, and praying-some-more stage of all of this, but I really want to recommend a book I'm reading and urge every woman I know to read through it.
There is a free Bible study in the back of the book and free video teachings available at this website: http://worthypublishing.com/books/Idol-Lies/videos . This would be a perfect study for a group of 8 or fewer in your home.
I'm just going to be honest...these idols of ours have the potential to destroy relationships and dreams. It is worth doing whatever we can to allow God to replace them with Himself alone!
One last thought to leave you with: Dee says that if we want to check for idols in our hearts, that we should pay attention to our body language. She says things like increased heart rate, a tightening of our neck, or a clenched hand can be red flags to us. For me it's usually a pit in my stomach and an emotional tidal wave. When these things happen in my day, I'm sure to find an idol involved somewhere (avoiding conflict for my comfort...feeling unimportant in a meeting...fearing that someone will be upset with me, etc. etc.)
Do you ever feel anything like this? Don't you hate how it robs your joy and peace? If so, come get an idol-ectomy with me:)