by Jennie Smith
Do you worship idols? When we think of the word idol, we often think of a little Buddha or a golden calf or maybe our mind goes to something more lighthearted like the origin of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. But let’s get real for a moment….are there any idols in your life?
I think we can all agree that money and success can easily become idols in one’s life. But even good things, gifts God has given us, can become idols too; our family, achievements, romance can all become more important to us than God is.
Here I am about to get real with you…I’ve recently been convicted that in my own life peace and joy are idols. Peace and joy?! Aren’t those God-given gifts?! Yes, they are, but they had become the driving force in my life – those qualities had become more important to me than God himself! So when a time of trial hit my life this last year, where peace and joy were not found in my circumstances, I was lost, because God was not #1. When my peace and joy were absent, it felt like God was absent too. He certainly wasn’t, but because He was not sitting on the throne of my heart, I had to dig through the muck and mire to see that His hand had been there all along.
May I recommend the book Gods at War:Defeating The Idols That Battle For Your Heart by Kyle Idleman to you? It is an eye opening book that challenges us to evaluate what might be taking the highest priority in our lives. Idleman says “The problem is that the instant something takes the place of God, the moment it becomes an end in itself rather than something to lay at God’s throne, it becomes an idol.”
The author describes our sin life like a tree. The trunk is the idolatry we hold tightly to and the branches are the sins that manifest from that idolatry. He states “…anything that becomes the purpose or driving force of your life probably points back to idolatry of some kind.” It’s a challenging book – no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, it will force you to evaluate what may be standing in the way of a deeper relationship with our Almighty God.
Because of all of the challenges of the last year, my husband and I decided to renew our vows last month. Our first wedding was huge – 250 people – invite everybody – pack the church out. This time it was simply us, our children, and our moms. In the quietness of the chapel, we stood before God and reaffirmed our commitment to each other. This time, we wrote our own vows and kept them a secret from each other. What surprised us was that we both echoed the same sentiment…we can not do this on our own – we cannot have a successful marriage in our own strength, nor can our marriage be our #1 priority.
I wrote: “Most importantly, I promise to run after Jesus with all of my being, knowing it’s only
through His power that I can be the wife and mother you need me to be.”
Brent wrote: “I promise to live first for the Lord Jesus Christ seeking Him first and then you, loving you and you alone, through the love that He has shown me, by the power and enablement of the Spirit…”
Together, we are slowly getting it. God must be sitting on the throne of our hearts and lives to find any success or joy or peace. I love the song “Jesus at the Center” written by Israel Houghton. It says exactly what my heart sings now…”Nothing else matters. Nothing in this world will do. Jesus you’re the center. Everything revolves around you.” I wanted to share this song with you and found this precious 4 year old singing with her church choir. As you listen to the song, pray that God would overthrow any idols you hold dear. Life is so much more complete with Jesus at the center of it all.