Sunday, July 17, 2011

The American Idol....

So when my son was a freshman in High School our church had a class for parents on teenagers and how hard it is to be a teen in this day of age.  I was really struck by something one of our Pastors said.  He said the biggest growth impact he had in his Christian teenage life was when he was a freshman and his Mother started to get up early and read her Bible down stairs.  He would get up and see his Mother every morning reading her Bible and this by far had the biggest impact his Christian teenage walk.  He encouraged us not to go to our rooms and have our “private time” with God but to live it out loud in front of our children.  That our example will impact our children greatly. 

Now, you think I would of taken this advice but I did not.  I thought about it a lot…but I was not living my own life according to what God wanted for me, and really avoided alone time with God.  (He might tell me something I didn’t want to hear.)  SO I did my own thing…..and we all know my story by now.  I had to be broken, and submit my life to Christ in order to be restored.  A process I am still in as we speak.  But for almost a year now I have been reading my Bible, and studying his word, and praying most mornings on my couch 1st thing in the morning.  My son has walked out of his room more than once and has “caught me”  in the act.  I heard him mumble under his breath once…Who are you? And what have you done with my Mother?  Ha!  You see I am not a morning person…or I wasn’t but God is changing me from the inside out and I find my behavior is changing right along with it.  I also leave my Bible open to the passage I am reading, my journal, and my assortment of books laying out on the couch when I am done.  I’m not sure why I started doing that…but anyhow the other day I looked at them sitting on the couch as I was walking by and I saw a book my son was reading sitting along side my pile of books.  It is a book he is reading with his young life group and my heart skipped a beat as I realized, He is being impacted by my example.  Praise God!  Do I wish I had started doing this when he was a freshman?  Yes, of course but I can’t go back…. only forward and I am so thankful God is a God of 2nd chances.  (or 3 or 4!)  J
So I am thankful for Pastor Jeremy sharing his story and that God uses us, when we chose to obey.  (even if it is a little late!)

This morning I was reading in Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word, Breaking free from God’s strongholds.  It is a book I just happened to stumble upon at our Goodwill store.  I was there for a totally different reason and decided to give a quick look at the book section.  It is the 1st book I looked at.  And I decided to buy it.  Already I know God put this book in my path for a reason.  This morning I read something that I could totally relate to.  Beth says in Chapter 2, page 34 in the 1st paragraph……God seems to work in themes in my life.   You know what I mean.  Every sermon, morning devotional, and Christian radio program “coincidentally” speak to me about the same subject for an uncomfortable length of time.  I’ll even get a card in the mail from a Christian friend I haven’t seen or heard from in ten years-and you guessed it-she’ll share on the same exact “theme”. 

I don’t know about you but I can totally relate.  I have had two big themes in my life this year.  Every where I go, look, or see there it is.  The 1st one I have talked a lot about and that is waiting on the Lord.  Not taking things into my own hands.  I need to wait on God’s timing and leading in my life. 

The 2nd theme that keeps coming up in my life is idols.  We have had several sermons on this at church(today even!) and in my Bible studies(today even in Beth’s Book!) and conversations, the theme of idols keeps coming up. 

You may wonder what I mean when I say the word “idol”.  An idol is something in our life that we make more important than God. It will control our thoughts and attitudes, and even our lives.  When our thoughts and minds are controlled by something other than God it is in fact, a form of worship.  There are a lot of different idols out there.  Our jobs, our families, our finances, our status, etc.  

So…I am a thinker.  I think…. and think…. and think…and then I analyze…. and analyze….. and analyze…and then I think some more until I have worked myself into quite a frenzy.  I wake up in the morning thinking…and unfortunately they are usually not good thoughts.  I wake up most mornings overwhelmed and I am not even out of bed yet.  The enemy attacks me before my feet have even hit the ground! That is why my morning prayer and Bible reading have become so vital for me.  I don’t want to start my day defeated. 

And a big part of that has been my singleness.  I have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about being single.  It has consumed my thoughts.  Even now I can get drawn into certain aspects of it and it is all I think about.  I call up my girlfriends…I’ve got to talk to you…and blah, blah, blah,…..I’ve spent an hour venting about something that I should be giving to God.  The war really is in our mind.  Satan loves to plant a seed in our insecurities and watch it grow.  It becomes bigger than God himself and sets us on a path of worshiping the problem instead of trusting God. 

It says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to diminish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

When I first read this verse I felt like I had hit the jackpot…and I still do!  We don’t fight with weapons of this world….we have DIVINE power…We take captive EVERY thought and make it obedient to Christ.  Wow!  This verse has become my prayer and my one, two punch against Satan.  He has no victory in our lives unless we let him control our thoughts and mind.  I’m not sure what your idol is in your life.  Maybe it is your singleness, or your children that go…go…go.. or your bank account that never has enough money, or the circumstances in your life that seem oh, so grim.  I don’t know what rules you and your thoughts but I do know it’s not too big for our heavenly father to overcome.  Why do we let our thoughts think differently?

Beth Moore said it perfectly in Praying God’s Word, page 21.….I think that sometimes God must listen to our pitifully small acclamations, expectations, and petitions in prayer, and want to say, “Are you talking to me?  I’m not recognizing myself in this conversation.  Are you sure you have the right God?” 
It says in Isaiah 44:6&8  My Father, I acknowledge that you are the Lord almighty.  You are the first and You are the last.  And apart from You there is no other God.  Make me witness to the fact that there is no other rock but you.  Enable me to say with full assurance, “I know not one.”

Let’s remember God is the All Mighty, Prince of Peace, and Everlasting Father.  There is nothing He can’t do.  He is the one true God.  Worship Him with our mind, body, and soul.  I hope you can recognize the idols in your life and let God be the Lord and ruler of your life and thoughts.  This is not an easy task to do but I know when we earnestly seek God, He will make a way.  Once again it may not be easy, but we are all in this together.  J