Hopefully it won't be too scary. But I'm not about to make any promises.
Well. I've been struggling a lot recently with some particular idols. A main one being my desire for the "American dream". I want a husband, kiddos, a house with a puppy dog in the backyard, with enough wealth to live comfortably and a location convenient to family and friends. And those things I want may not inherently be bad things...
Here's my problem. I find my heart talking to Jesus and telling him that these things are non-negotiable. I find my heart so clenched around these desires that I'm telling Jesus, "This is what I want. And I'm not gonna yield until you give it to me. This is the way I want my life to go, and if this is not your plan for my life, then you need to rework the script." Yikes.
But that's where me and my heart have been. It's not pretty, but until Jesus calls me home, there is gonna be a lot of ugly coming from this fleshy, sinful heart of mine.
Tonight, I was reading in Romans, and Jesus revealed some good nuggets to me here in chapter 1.
21 For although they [nonbelievers] knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Now, this passage is absolutely about nonbelievers. And I am absolutely a follower of Jesus. I believe that he has saved my life, and I belong to him. BUT, as I said, until Jesus brings me home, I'm gonna be living with this dumb ole sinful heart of mine. And while Jesus is constantly sanctifying me (making me more like him), my heart is still naturally sinful, just like nonbelievers.
And man! when I read this passage, I so see the struggles and sins of my heart all over this passage.
I've let my thinking become futile. Consumed in earthly things. Disregarding God. His glory. His big picture of eternity.
I've let my heart become foolish and dark. Choosing to serve myself, and not my Creator.
And dang. I've been trying to exchange God's glory for my foolish, futile, selfish idols.
And before I go on, read the next few verses in the same chapter.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Once again, these nonbelievers are exchanging the truth of God for a lie. And my heart is trying to do the same thing. It is constantly trading in the pure goodness of God's truths for the pure evil of the lies of this world. I'm wanting to consume my life with fleeting things of creation and blow off the Creator of all eternity!
I know, what my heart tries to fool me into thinking I need is a lie. That somehow all of those things I want can on their own fulfill my life and bring me joy. But that is a lie. The truth is Jesus is the only one who will ever satisfy me and my heart. And the truth is fulfilling His plans for my life will bring me the greatest joy I'll ever get to know on this Earth, whether they are somewhat reflective of the American dream or something entirely, wonderfully different. My head can see the truths and the lies, but my heart does not always choose to follow along.
If you look back at verse 21, you'll see the root of the issue. The nonbelievers did not honor God as GOD of their lives and they did not give Him thanks.
So that's where I am:
- Trying to honor God as Lord of my life, my future, my dreams, every piece of it all!
- Giving thanks that God has not given me up to the lusts of my heart!
- Letting go of idols!
- Begging Jesus to make me more like him! He is true to his word, and He will. :)
Now let me leave you with this C. S. Lewis quote, because it explains everything I just said. But simpler and better:
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
PS - If you do happen to get anything out of this blog, please praise Jesus for it, not me. Absolutely anything good that comes out of me is from Jesus and Jesus only!