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New you - Idols

It can't talk about newness without recognition of the pitfalls on the road there and specifically things that try to keep us from entering a season of NEWNESS or the things that create disunity in the new.

It is impossible to talk about the life of a warrior or facing a giant without talking about idols.

Perhaps you might recognise yourself somewhere in this, perhaps as a perpetrator or maybe an accomplice or even a victim.

We are surrounded by idols, we are deceived by them, we are distracted by them, we are delayed by them, we are denied by them and we sometimes do not know when we are waiting on them.

Yet we are told to smash them (Deuteronomy 12:3). That is literally the instruction in the word, "smash them". We should not give them any room to derail us from our path.

Why, I wonder, is God so vehement about this? Why smash the idols? Why not simply turn away from it? Without smashing it, it remains in our minds - alive and occupying space.

I believe God needs us focussed, stable and sound. A double minded person is unstable!

Idols are everywhere

Have you ever wanted something so badly for so long and you aren't quite sure at what point the seemingly harmless and possibly very useful desire became an idol?

Its this simple. Does it take the assigned seat of love in your heart? We begin backbiting, snapping, resenting, coveting, complaining because we want what we want and nothing should stand in the way. The appetite grows and grows until it becomes ravenous. In fact, the things that should build you up and prepare you for your true heart's desires are ignored and necessary disciplines remain uncultivated for your next level.

Sometimes the things we idolise are not tangible - they cannot be physically touched but they occupy our minds because of what they represent and how they satisfy a part of us that nurses a wound or an old scar, a childhood trauma or even present dilemma, dissatisfaction or discontentment in a spouse, a child, a job, a relationship. We humans sometimes fail to realise how intricate we are - we have been fearfully crafted by the wonderful creator. It doesn't matter where we go to find satisfaction, if it does not involve Him we will never get it.

Sometimes we are consumed with the accolades or in awe of the clout that comes with a given position - it may feed our ego and inflate us temporarily. It gives our feelings something to feast on but only because our feelings have been soiled or tainted by the wrong thinking patterns or experiences.

Idols cause contention within us

These moments of contention and quiet wrestle within ourselves in choosing to do the right thing I sometimes describe as "crucible moments". There are the moments that really determine what is most valuable to you, the things you hold in highest esteem or regard in your life.

The crucible moment tries to hold you in when every thing inside you is shouting get out. The protracted tension is what causes the transformation, its not the problem or issue in front of you, its the tension. It is required to build and fashion out something that was never there before, something far more stable and delightful to encounter. All the elements surrounding the issue work to produce the desired output - raised temperatures, disappointment after disappointment, the confusion, the uncertainty, the heightened sense of your own natural inadequacies, the long wait and yes the hope.

I have found that the higher I get in life whether relationship, career, whatever, the smaller I had to become in order to function effectively at that level.

Where I have been stuck long in places I knew God wanted me to move on from was because God was wrestling with me to take over the things I had the misconception of thinking that I could do all by myself! I was carrying weight that needed to be shed, dropped and forgotten.

I have discovered my crucible moments revealed the most to me about the idols I was attending to in my life. I have found myself idolising position and title and that kept me from identifying important aspects of me that were necessary to facilitate my journey. There are lots of things we find in idolising position whether it is a position as a wife, a leader, a significant other or whatever, these positions when observed from afar carry influence and authority and of course we want to be people with influence and authority in the world, to our children our families and communities. What we sometimes fail to see is the sacrifice and posture of servitude these positions carry and to do this successfully, there are appetites that will need to be curbed, there are disciplines that would need to be cultivated, there are patterns that will need to be stripped from your mind. Some times it will seems as if your very own life is being stripped away from you but that is simply the role of the crucible - to burn the excesses off you and leave behind only what is true. There will be something left behind and that will be what is priced the most - your core values are revealed and if you were paying close enough attention your idols as well.

So here is a little activity for you :

Look back on your experiences in your workplace or at home or community as a whole,

- where are those areas you could ask for help,

- admit you don't have the answers,

- where are those areas you need to pace yourself a whole lot better.

This activity is about shedding pride because often pride is a façade we put on to make everyone else think we are OK and have no struggles. Pride doesn't do well under pressure and our journey guarantees there will be pressure in those crucible moments. We want a result from the crucible moment that sends a sweet fragrance up.

Idols deceive us into thinking we can sustain a ridiculous pace that is forged on self pride and because this isn't sustainability were we should see fine lines on the emerging sculpture we might see cracks that lead to irreparable damage, where we should experience small tremors we might experience an earthquake.

If we refuse to smash the idols, they will smash us. If we refuse to stay focussed and seek the right counsel, they will destabilise us. A warrior cannot risk either because their life is entwined with so many others. So many depending and waiting on you.

Be blessed!

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