In the second chapter of Jonah, we find him praying to God from the belly of a big fish. In the midst of his bleak circumstances, he seems to get the concept that when we pay regard to idols before God, we forfeit a steadfast hope. He also understands that even in our discontentment, we should give thanks and wait on God’s salvation. *Spoiler alert–God heard Jonah and told the fish to vomit him up! I think it’s interesting that even the fish listened and obeyed in a speedy manner, but Jonah took his time obeying God…but that’s another blog!*
Let’s get back to the idols…We often think of “idols” as things or people or activities, but a mindset can also be an idol. If the desire for change consumes you, then that desire (even if it is for good things) becomes an idol. We allow our own planning and yearning for something to replace just being still and listening for God to whisper. We sacrifice peace and embrace negative thinking when we allow our desire for something to take control. This thought changed my perspective more than anything else I’ve processed lately. I need to be content and thankful and know that I am ok where I am. I was so very sure and thankful when God opened the doors I have walked through to arrive at my current location. So why do I feel the need to take a crowbar to a closed door? Has God given me even just one tiny reason to doubt that He can and WILL take care of me? No. He has been faithful every step of the way. Now I need to just work hard where I am until God moves me according to His perfect timing. This revelation was such a gift to me. I am so thankful that God knows how to speak to my heart through songs. The song that sparked this thought was Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham.
“Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
And anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
And anything that I give all my love is an idol”
My challenge to you is this:
Take a hard look at your life…shine a light in the dark corners. Are you holding on to any idols? Habits? Relationships? Wrong-thinking? What is standing between you and an uncluttered connection with God? What do you need to put down to free your hands to be raised in true worship to God?