In our homeschool curriculum we have been following Israel’s history, and we have just been covering Israel’s captivity in Babylon. This got me thinking of a few years back when I was teaching an incredible group of 4th grade girls in Sunday School. We were also covering a piece of Israel’s history then.
There are many times that I have rolled my eyes at the Israelites and their lack of faith. They had just crossed the Red Sea miraculously and they were already complaining to Moses that they should have stayed in Egypt. Yet, when I’m honest with myself I am the exact same way. How many times do I go to God in desperation and He shows Himself mighty and then the next day I try to do it all on my own again. Here’s a diagram I made for those 4th grade girls and it has been a really helpful reminder to me. (It’s obvious that the graphic design talents in the family are my husband’s and not mine.)
ANY sin in our life is idolatry. All that idolatry is is putting something above God in our lives. It can be any type of sinful behavior or it can be something like work, children, comfort, perfectionism, exercise or even your spouse. It’s not necessarily that that “thing” is bad in and of itself…it’s the place it holds in your heart, mind and life.
One thing that the Bible is very clear about is that sin ALWAYS leads to bondage if we continue in it. I used to idolize Kirk. I wouldn’t have said so at the time. I knew he had faults, and I could tell you about those faults. My idolization of him came in the fact that I relied on him to come through for me in a way that only God can. I needed Kirk to be perfect for me. That’s not a good place for a husband to be in and, believe me, Kirk didn’t want to be there.
The form of bondage that came about for me was anxiety. I tried to control Kirk and the situations that I thought I needed to work out in order for Kirk not to fail me. It got to a point where I was controlling and not trusting God. It meant sleepless nights and a stomach churning worry that is not of God at all. It wasn’t until I started to give it back to God completely that there was rest in my life again. It wasn’t a one time thing, but a process of talking it through, prayer, Bible study and replacing Satan’s lies with God’s truth. Let me tell you though, that God’s deliverance in this area has been complete and there is most definitely rest. It is only when I start down my same sinful road of putting Kirk in God’s place (or anything else) that anxiety rears it’s ugly head again.
If you are struggling in ANY area of sin right now, know that there is hope, and God only disciplines us so that we can be reconciled to Him. You could begin by agreeing with God that what you are doing is sin and that you need God to turn from it. Write out the lies that you are believing and then write Scripture next to those lies so that you have the truth. Then memorize those Scriptures. Other helpful resources for me have been Neil Anderson’s Bondage Breaker and Beth Moore’s Breaking Free.
Blessings to you as you seek God,