Monday, May 7, 2012

Just Like Jesus

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God..." 1 Thessalonians 1

I could barely breathe, the more "air" I sucked into my lungs the darker the patches behind my eyes became.  I needed to sit down, or throw up or something.  I had just completely spent myself riding my bike, trying to get in the fastest lap I could and I'd made the mistake of riding at 4PM, in central Florida, in late spring.  It wasn't my fastest lap and it was a bad idea.

But there's something intensely good about spending yourself completely.  I believe that it could be true that it is what fuels every human's life.  We are made to spend ourselves, to pour ourselves into something or rather someone other than ourselves.

I've been learning a little more about recovery from idol worship lately (not that I'm getting all that much better at not worshiping my particular idols).  Good ole' Keller says that we can't find the solution to idol worship until we find something bigger, something better to worship.  I totally agree.

But this still gets me stuck a lot in dealing with particular idols, inconsistencies or imbalances in my life.  I think I've got to repent of these idols and simply turn and all will be well.  And I guess that could work, but as a friend of mine has often quipped, "We don't really turn and run from hell, we sort of back away step by step."  My friends approach goes against what I think of as a "Biblical" approach.  I often think we've got to turn away, turn to God and be done with it.

However, a problem arises when our idols are in fact good.  They are something that we may even simply feel false guilt over.  I wrestle with wrapping my brain around what to do.  Of course, I'd really like to assimilate God and my idols and worship them all as one happy family.  Bad idea.

So recently I've been trying to ask God to give me insight and help me find what the intentions and inclinations of my heart are.  Simply put, I can't do this, I've got to have God for this.  Also simply put, I really, really like my idols, so I don't want to let go, and my guess is God's going to have to pry them from hands one grippy finger at a hand.  The good news is that at least they're not cold and dead fingers, yet.

The "confidant victorious Christian" (whom I really don't like) will blanch at this.  "Get on with it Phil, turn or burn baby!"  But I think it's more realistic to say that we won't be successful at defeating idol worship until we ask God to help us be honest with ourselves and with him.  Along with this honesty I ask for courage and help to stop, turn and begin worshiping in the right direction.  God's got to "captivate" my heart, woo it and bring it into alignment with his.  And I've got to accept that as long as I'm on this earth, idol worship is going to be an ongoing problem in my life.

But I hope to spend myself completely in God's direction, to better know the hope, the truth and the person of God.  Just like Jesus.  The good thing is "he is faithful and he will do it."