Thursday, March 24, 2011

Harboring Any Idols?

Thursdays – Dawn’s Devotions for Writers

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the
form of anything in heaven above or on the earth
beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:4 NIV)

I love it when I come across a new way of looking at Scripture. Those “ah-ha” moments are rare, but I recently experienced one while editing a client’s manuscript. My eyes were opened to looking at idol worship in a different way than I had before.

It’s pretty easy to see that if our drive and passion in life is to increase the amount in our bank accounts—look like a runway model, despite what it costs our health—become successful, regardless of who we hurt while on the journey—that we’ve replaced what’s important with money, good looks, and fame.

But do we harbor other idols in our hearts? Anything we choose to serve above God might be considered an idol.

In Exodus 32, we read that although God freed the children of Israel, performed miracles in front of them, and provided for their needs, they grew impatient with God. They were tired of wandering and waiting. They wanted the Promised Land NOW.

Out of their need for control, they used their hands to build a golden calf to worship—something they could see and touch.

When we take things into our own hands instead of trusting God to move on our behalf, we’re like the children of Israel. We react out of needing to feel in control. We want to see results—and we want to see them NOW.

Of course that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work to provide for our families. But instead of worshipping the pay check, we’re to trust that God will provide for us—which includes the means for us to receive the funds we need without doing something unethical or illegal.

As writers, we’re to work hard at our craft. There’s no way to get a contract without putting forth effort and submitting to agents and publishers. We’re required to network and find ways to market our writing projects. But wanting a contract or attention so desperately that we put it above our relationship with God could be considered idol worship. Not trusting in God’s timing and his ways, but only in our hard work and skill—and desiring control—could be considered idol worship.

I know … There are days when it’s not easy to let go. I frequently struggle with wanting control. But it’s not my call as to when certain doors open for me. It’s God’s.

Are you worrying about the stack of bills on the counter? An illness? Your children? A broken relationship? Are you hoping to find an agent, hear back on a submission, receive direction on a story, or find the means to attend a writers conference?

God delivered the children of Israel to the Promised Land. He’ll take care of us too. Let’s try to rid ourselves of any idols hidden in our hearts.

Remember—just because we don’t see things happening as quickly as we’d like, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t working on it.

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