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You shall have no other gods before me.

What a mind blowing statement. 

Despairing thoughts come to mind even at the thought of such a statement.

I’ve definitely not done that well. How can I measure up? 

I can’t.

But having the context tonight for these commands that God gives has just flipped this whole thing inside out. Realizing the Fatherhood of God as a present reality and truth for me right here and right now is just starting to demolish and expose idols. 

I’m comforted and open to the Spirit navigating my heart to seek and expose areas that I have functionally trusted and placed my hope, worth, and identity in and some of it has been exposed tonight.

One large idol that has been masked well has been a combination of education/wealth/status/comfort. Oh boy. This is a big one. How do I now it is an idol? I give my time to it. I give my money to it. I give my heart to it. I place my hope in it. I bank my future and my life on it. I think those are some good enough reasons to believe it is an idol. But man, how terrible an idol it has been for me. It has gotten me into debt without me completely realizing what I was doing, it has fooled my parents and countless other immigrant families that the way to ‘heaven’ is through social mobility achieved through hard work, education, and a great paying job. Sounds simple, but I think this is huge for me personally. I’m not going to point fingers at anyone else, except at myself right now. Looking back, so many lies have been entangled with this weird idol. 

If you do well at school, then you truly love your family. What kind of child are you if you don’t provide for your family?

If you succeed, look at the glory, honor, and praise you will bring to you and your family. This career/path is what you need to get there – take it at all costs. Even if it costs you your life, relationships, money, and precious time. 

There’s a fine line for me in terms of stewardship, redemption of work, and idolatry – freaks me out a bit, but right now I feel like my head and my heart are on straight. I’m realizing that all of the things I seek from an education are things only to be found in God as Father. He provides true, complete, and eternal security. Hands down. No gimmicks. No lie. There it is. He is my ultimate hope of life, joy, and love. He is the one who loves perfectly, understands completely, forgives readily, and embraces wholly. Because of Jesus, He sees me as his son. He sees me clean, righteous, spotless, and acceptable. When I sin, it kills him and he will do whatever it takes to get to my heart and get to me. I’m glad he knows me well. The only one that knows me perfectly. He knows my nature and will at times speak loudly, but more often, he is very patient and kind. He draws me to repentance and I see his goodness there. I thank him for that. 

As this happens, he is convicting me of a few things.

  • Repent of holding a conditional standard of love for my family by loving them unconditionally the way he has loved me in Christ. I won’t be perfect, but by his power I can love them by looking to his face, trusting him, and looking forward at my parents. It is possible.
  • Put my faith into practice like this in more areas of life and stop excusing, blaming, escaping, hiding, or denying areas that I am a functional idolater. I need to see him. Remember him. See his heart. Then respond accordingly in faith.
  • Redemption of my career is necessary. Obstacles and barriers include: fear of man, diverting back to idolizing career/education, unhealthy comparison/covetousness, and just an overall defeatist and self-condemning pride. 

I’m seeing that these things are just impossible apart from seeing his face and knowing him as Father. That alone is enough for me because as I tackle all these things head on, I see that he is before me in these things and will guide me through the valley of the shadow of death. He will lead me well and I believe that. Following is something that needs to be lived out – not just believed in my head. 

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