I recently had another dethroning of one of my idols. I have the tendency to look for people who have what I want and idolize them. A fitter body, a cleaner house, a more faithful devotional life.
One by one, my idols have fallen out of my grace. It’s no fault of their own. They are after all, just human. God is just letting me see their humanity, sometimes in rather painful ways, in order to get my attention. You see, He’s the one I’m supposed to be following. He does not want to share my focus. He is a jealous God.
The hard part for me of course is that I like rules. I like the freedom of feeling like all will be well if I just follow the “rules” provided by [insert guru of your choice here]. I want to be guaranteed that if I do A, B and C, I will be rewarded with X, Y, and Z. But I am learning that life is not like that. At least not in the tangible. God does give promises, but what he promises is not about things or activities or circumstances. It’s about His presence, His protection, His control.
So, I am once again seeking to fill a recently vacated position of leadership in my life. I know God is the only candidate, but I’m going to have to adapt the position to suit.
Poverty has not been my experience, but God has allowed in the lives of each of us some sort of loss, the withdrawal of something we valued, in order that we may learn to offer ourselves a little more willingly, to allow the touch of death on one more thing we have clutched so tightly, and thus know fullness and freedom and joy that much sooner. We’re not naturally inclined to love God and seek His Kingdom. Trouble may help to incline us – that is, it may tip us over, put some pressure on us, lean us in the right direction.
– Elisabeth Elliot, in Keep a Quiet Heart, p. 39