Pearl 18: Louis, Tory and Michael can steal your identity.
The scripture is filled with warnings against idols. We read of golden calves and altars and incense offered up to other gods, and the result of those false idols. It is easy to skip right through the warning believing you have not fallen prey to such things...heaven forbid, I haven't seen anyone with my own eyes worship golden calves. However, the bondage women face today as a result of lost identity is evident that idols are ever present.
The problem is that while idols are all around us, the packaging can be ever so deceiving. I have never seen this more clear than my year working in a middle school, and at a Christian school I might add. The insecurity of young girls was epidemic. How my heart grieved to see them wrestle with who they were dependent daily on a like status on Instagam or a handbag displayed purposefully on their desk for other eyes to take notice. I don't even recall if we carried handbags in middle school, but I know certainly they didn't come with price tags anywhere near the trending Louis, Michael or Tory. In our effort to be good moms, we over do and though I see nothing wrong with blessing our babies, but the challenge is how do we keep our kids and ourselves balanced? How do we not loose ourselves in "things" when the culture allures you there? How do we realign our identity to being His rather than what we claim to be "ours"? Perhaps much like our cars need to get the oil checked every 3000-5000 miles, we too need to pit stop frequently? Perhaps He calls us to stillness so there we notice what is fueling our identity? Take it from a woman with a past of being lost completely in things, performance, men and careers.....I have tried them all and I can say assuredly that He offers something more! He offers something deeper, more filling and more satisfying. And it's worth it to lose everything to find it....to find freedom! There is a place where you come to know that without anything, you are still everything to Him!
Anything you want more than God is an idol. ("Clear The Stage" by Jimmy Needham) Today, I challenge you to a pit stop. What is fueling your identity? We don't have golden calves but we certainly have idols just the same. Needham's song offers lyrics that speak to this truth and call us to stop and assess our desires. Are the longings of our hearts tied to things or positions? Are the longings of our hearts tied to our children's trophy case full of medals? Are our longings tied to men or careers? Are our longings tied to what drapes from our shoulders flashing emblems that stir envy in others? (Been there too!)
I am not asking you to ditch all of your things, because we will seek transformation unsuccessfully if we simply change the things or careers or desires that drive our lives. The change must come from our identity. Do you know who you are? Do you understand the longing for more is part of your Divine Dna that keeps you unsatisfied wanting without Him? When we begin to understand in our depths who He is and who we are because He is good then the behaviors and environments and the struggles of our lives begin to change. First, we must take notice and answer the tough question do we have idols? And if we do, we must clear the stage and return to our first love.
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 AMP