Today’s post is based on chapter 8 of my latest book, Newness of Life, recently released on Amazon.
In this chapter about scattering and gathering stones, I spoke of smashing idol worship and remembering God’s faithfulness. Today I will combine this theme with the idea of blind faith, as prompted by the Live Free Thursday linkup.
I took up blind faith to smash my idol several years ago.
My home, my cozy haven. The beautiful, giant idol holding so many dreams. Dreams of family together forever, the way it should have been for us growing up, the way I desperately longed for our children. Dreams of security, safety, serenity. Perfect peace. All tied up in 2,400 square feet of beech floors, Andersen windows, whitewashed walls, and thousands of nails.
I trembled as I lingered in my van one afternoon, sitting in the dark garage, unable to turn off the words of Andy Stanley in a radio broadcast. He spoke of idol worship in our contemporary culture. He spoke of anything in our heart taking the rightful place of God, calling it an idol. And I heard God saying, “Sarah, your house is your idol.”
God wasn’t jealous of the trees we cleared, the foundation walls we poured, or the trusses we set. He wasn’t jealous of the cabinets holding our dishes, the doors guarding our rooms, or the walls framing us in.
God was jealous of my heart’s cry for home as the solution to all my struggles. Home as my source of security, when he longed to provide all the security I wanted. Home as my shield, my steadfast companion, my shelter from literal and emotional storms. God wanted to be everything for me, and he wasn’t willing to share any piece of my heart with my home or anything else.
For weeks I struggled with the notion of idol worship. How can my home really be an idol? We need a place to live, I argued. We have $60,000 in sweat equity, I reasoned. We are within the 25%-34% recommended budget range on the mortgage, I rationalized. Choking back tears, I pleaded: I always wanted to live here, not just anywhere. I want to live where generations of my family have settled. I want this part of your world to be my home, Father.
Another sermon came back to me from Dr. Charles Stanley, Andy Stanley’s father. He told of a time he gave up his cameras when prompted by God to do so. It made no sense whatsoever. Dr. Stanley is an accomplished photographer and didn’t think he had any idol problem with his cameras. But God said, Charles, you need to give them up. He struggled against the idea for a while, but finally decided to sell all his equipment at a camera shop. Right then a peace that passed all understanding came over him.
Only a short time afterward a friend knocked at his door. She had heard his story and decided to purchase his cameras back for him. She was so impressed with his blind faith, she prayed about what to do, and God prompted her to buy the cameras back. Dr. Stanley was overwhelmed by God’s perfect knowledge. He knew he had passed a spiritual test and didn’t regret his choice, even when it made no sense.
I didn’t agree to put our house up for sale. But I prayed God would unseat my home from its wrongful place in my heart. I prayed that if I gave my house over to God in my heart, he would somehow give it back to me like he returned Dr. Stanley’s cameras.
I didn’t understand what God wanted me to do, but I trusted him to show me, and I moved forward in blind faith, trembling and afraid.
That was ten years ago. God never asked me to give up my house; I’m writing these words in this same lovely home. However, in the painful process of helping me smash the house idol in my heart, he revealed dozens more. Relationships. Food. Daydreams. Books. Creature comforts. God used the first idol to expose others. He drew me closer and closer to himself by stripping the idols away, whispering:
I AM your comforter. I AM your shelter. I AM your shield. I AM your safe haven. I AM your security. I AM your strength. I AM your perfect peace.
When I was healed, I took up the stones of those smashed idols and erected milestones of faith:
- This stone marks the time I learned to trust God for security instead of my house.
- This stone marks the time I learned relationships will never fill me completely up, but God can.
- This stone marks the time I learned food is fuel, not my friend; a delight, but not a drug.
- This stone marks the time I learned daydreams lead me astray, but God’s word steeps me in truth.
- This stone marks the time I learned books are blessings only in moderation.
- This stone marks the time I learned to be thankful for creature comforts but not dependent upon them for happiness.
This stone marks the time I moved forward in blind faith.
Questions for reflection: (please comment below)
What idols in your heart need to be smashed?
What stones of remembrance can you set up today in your heart?
Giveaways will be announced on Fridays. If you comment in my online Bible study throughout this study, you’ll be entered to win prizes on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27. All comments will be entered to win the grand prize on Feb. 3.
This week’s winner will receive a copy of Jen Wilkin’s book None Like Him and a magnet set of these beauties:
Congratulations to Meg, winner of a free copy of Newness of Life!
My new book Newness of Life will help you apply Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 so you can understand God’s plan in your current season.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
No matter what season you are in, God is teaching you valuable lessons to grow your faith and trust in Him. We will discover what God is saying through the different times and activities we traverse.
I look forward to hearing how God is working in your current life season. I hope you will join in the fun and discussion on the online Bible study.
Please vote 17 on this link: Click HERE! so I can make my publishing dream come true. God set me free from my fear of abandonment, and I want the world to know!
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This post will be linked up at #gracemoments, #livefreethursday, #thoughtprovokingthursday, #chasingcommunity, #dancewithjesus, #faithnfriends, #freshmarketfriday, and #graceandtruth. Visit my linkups page to find links to these wonderful blogs.