One of my favorite spots to read is on our balcony. Rocking on the swing and turning the pages of my book, it is like I am somewhere else, on a beach or in a garden. I have spent hours at a time up there, loving life.
It can be delightful to slip away for a while, into a book, game, song, vacation, or project. The problem is when they become idols. We can make idols out of our phones, parties, or chocolate. But idols are often sneakier. They can be a person, a dream job, safety, or an adventure. We can even make an idol of our good deeds. Our idols trick us into trying—trying to please God, other people, or living on our own.
When Jonah was stuck in the fish, he cried out to God:
7 “As my life was slipping away, I remembered the Lord. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. 8 Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies. 9 But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.”
Jonah had made an idol of his pride. He chose to go his own way, rather than trust God, who wanted to show mercy to the enemies of his people. Jonah’s life was slipping away from him, when he remembered and cried out to God. And God heard.
Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.
By turning to our idols, we forget that salvation and mercy come from God alone. He just wants our trust—our honest and earnest cry to him for help.
When I find that all I can think about for days on end are the characters in my book or I can’t stop worrying about the future or I’m constantly afraid of disappointing someone, I know it’s time to refocus my attention on God and away from the things that are threatening to become idols. It is best to trust God with whatever I’m trying to gain from those other things.
If God says, “Take a break,” obey. If he says, “Take a step,” obey. If he says, “Be present,” “Chase your dreams,” or “Be authentically yourself,” obey! What he says is merciful!
Life is best when we trust him first.
Do you look to God to hold you securely through difficult situations, or do you look for security and distractions in other things?
What do you find yourself slipping into? When do you see it become an idol? How can you remind yourself that life is best when we trust God first?
Find any areas in your life that have become idols, and if possible, remove them. If you can’t (or aren’t ready to remove them), pray before stepping into that part of your life, asking God to help you trust him more. Figure out what you are trying to gain from your idols (approval, security, power, love, etc.), and trust that God will provide all of it and more.
Day 12 Focus – The Economy and Businesses (Philippians 4:19)
Heavenly Father, thank you for each business that makes up the economy of our community and region. You know the details of each one, and we pray they are firmly established in you. May their work reflect your generous heart. We ask you to show them great favor. Give each business leader your wisdom through the challenges and opportunities placed before them, and may whatever they put their hand to have a legacy of eternal impact for your glory and the good of our community. Amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
Check out the Latest LivingItOut Podcast
The LivingItOut Podcast is released every Wednesday morning. It discusses key takeaways and principles from the weekend message. Listen to the weekly podcast in your car, during your lunch break, or any other time that works for you. You can find the latest podcast here.
Leave a Comment?
We would love to hear how the LivingItOut is making a difference in your life. Let us know how today’s post inspired, challenged, or encouraged you by leaving a comment here.
Want to be a part of the LivingItOut team?
We are always looking for people who are passionate about writing and proofing to serve on the LivingItOut team. If you are interested, email LIO@cedarcreek.tv today!