Friday, October 3, 2008

No Other Gods-Week Three

Is it just me or is it easier to see the false gods in other people's lives than it is to see the ones in your own life? I spent this week traveling with my children to visit my family and help with some "family projects" while my husband stayed home to work. I was gone for five days and four nights.

While doing my studies in the evenings, for whatever reason, all the things of the day related to other people's gods were the first things that came to mind. I had to spend some time really focusing on setting aside all of their false gods to hear God talking to me about my own false gods.

It's amazing how many different things we can make into gods and how easily we do it. If you don't believe that, just spend some time with family and you'll see it!

I'm really enjoying this study and enjoying your comments, but can I just say that tearing down these lies and idols is hard work! I'm getting more and more excited about the day that there will be no gods to tear down, no temptations to have other gods, only satisfaction in the one true God!

I don't want to miss the process of putting Him first though. That's why I really loved this quote from this week's study. On page 70, Kelly writes, "Of course, we may feel grief when parting with something we enjoy, but if true conviction is present, we will begin to look at that thing as something that was taking the place of God, something that was stealing from us. As we rid it from our lives we will be hopeful with anticipation, anxious to see what God will do in this newly-created space. We will not look for loopholes. We will be resolved. We will know that we are in a position to gain, not to be stolen from any longer."

I want to not be stolen from any longer. I want my family to not be stolen from any longer, but I can only tear down the false gods in my own life. It's not easy, but I am hopeful about what God will create in those spaces. Let's get busy making some space. :)

Thanks so much for your comments last week, I can't wait to hear from you this week! Here are our questions.

1. Look back at the first few questions on day 2 (p. 61). Were all three things that the serpent said about the fruit true? If you answered yes, why is that a frightening fact?

2. Sometimes we second guess our ability to hear God, wondering, "Did I really hear God right when He said...?" How do you deal with such questions?

3. Is there anything you've been convinced to give up this week? Is so, tell about it.


Hope said...

1. Yes, they were all true! It's frightening because deception is so tricky. (duh!) Satan makes it easy for me to believe his "lies" because he gives them to me in the form of things that are "true", they're just not founded in Truth. Wow, I have believed him more times than I probably know because I am a logical thinker and I can talk myself into or out of anything just by looking at the "facts".

2. I deal with this all the time (homeschooling, ministry, finances, moving, discipline, diet, exercise, parenting, etc.) I usually present the situation to my husband and get his perspective. I pray about it. I read my Bible. Depending on the situation, sometimes I go ahead and follow the prompting and see if it really was what He was asking me to do. Other times, I wait until I know for sure.

It's amazing to me how many times I have been in a situation where I have felt the need to act upon someting I think God is asking me to do, but I don't do it because I want to wait until I know for sure that it is God's desire versus my desire. Most of the time I end up regretting that I didn't just do it, which tells me that it probably was His desire. There have been times that I have just jumped in and done it and been above-and-beyond amazed at how much it was exactly what I was supposed to do. I think I hear God better in hind-sight sometimes, does that even make sense?

3. Sort of. Okay obviously not convinced if I say sort of. I think I might be doing the ole believe Satan's lies thing again. Not sure. It's soda. Does cutting down on it or switching to diet count or do I need to just give it up entirely, that's what I'm struggling with. The line between giving something up that I let have power in my life and not getting legalistic about it.

Also, blogging/computer time. I don't want to give up the ministry side of blogging, but definitely need to limit my time on the computer. I'm probably going to remove everyone from my reader that is not a family member or close friend or doing this study, that will cut down a ton on my blogging.

I'm having a weird week sorting through all this stuff, anyone else?

dianna said...

1.) Why is it a frightening fact that what the serpent said about the fruit was true? Because it shows how easily we can be deceived or doubt if we don’t know the WHOLE truth of God’s word. It shows how easily we can rationalize things to make them seem “okay”. It shows how easily we can be manipulated by the lies of Satan if we don’t know and study God’s truth. How easy it is that we may make quick decisions without thinking or going to our Father or His word or seeking wise Godly counsel. We must watch out so we don’t get tricked into thinking something is “right” in our own eyes.

I Corinthians 10 (which is about lessons we can learn from Israel’s idolatry) says in Chap. 10:11... These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

2.) How do we deal with such questions “Did I hear God right when He said...? I make sure it lines up with the truth of God’s Word. I pray, look it up in the bible and commentaries and ask God to show me what I need to do. If I need to, I talk and pray it over with my husband or a spiritually mature Christian friend.

If it is something, like what you mentioned, Hope, where I feel the need to act upon something God is telling me to do, then most of the time I usually do it. I might be wondering the whole time if it was God's idea or my thought, or like you, it was what I was supposed to do and I only found out after I did it that, wow, it WAS something God wanted me to do!

3.) Is there any thing I’ve been convinced to give up this week? Yes, UNHEALTHY eating habits - again!

Hope said...

Dianna-That unhealthy eating habits thing keeps crawling up on my throne also. It is a daily surrender isn't it?

Thanks for sharing your answers with us and I miss getting to hear your answers in person! How are all the pumpkins? Any hayrides scheduled? I just had a brainstorm, I'll email you later! :)

dianna said...

Hi Hope! Thank you, I miss seeing you & hearing you in person too! Oh boy, did we have a lot of pumpkins this year! Probably 25 or more! We saved a lot of money this year not having to go out & buy them! I have so much fun decorating with all the pumpkins & straw bales & corn stalks & mums & scarecrows & orange lights AND thanking God the whole time for all this neat stuff of His I'm decorating with! I love looking out of my house at night or driving into our driveway & seeing all our fall decorating! Our big hayride is scheduled for Oct 25th!

Hey, maybe you & the kids would like to take a little trip out to our farm?! :-) Can't wait to hear your brainstorm!

Yea, unhealthy eating habits is a daily surrender for me.
I am so proud of myself when I make it through a day without cookies or chips! Ha! Now that I am older it is sooooo much harder to lose weight. And my husband & I love to eat out. We do split our meals often & try to choose on the healthy side for at least one of our meals. But I need to exercise more. I really believe in Weight Watchers (even my Dr. said it was the best way to lose weight) because you learn healthy eating habits along with being able to eat out & you don't have to give up french fries or cookies or pizza, you just learn how to do it in moderation along with the healthy ways & still lose weight. I have lost weight on it in the past (only to gain it back again - aaugh!) I'm embarrassed to say I have started over on it so many times through the years! If I keep talking long enough I might inspire myself to start again on Monday! Back in my 20's when my kids were little I worked at the Diet Center & learned healthy weight loss & healthy lifetime maintenance to keep the weight off. Sort of similar to Weight Watchers...but did I stick with it? NoooOOOO! Somewhere along the way the stresses & busy-ness of life, a stressful job & teenagers & a divorce & lack of exercise I gained my weight back & then in my 40's I lost weight again & then I met my husband in 2001 & all we did was eat out! I started gaining weight again. Now I have 50 lbs to lose! Ugh! But I keep plugging along one day at a time...tomorrow I am going to get back into drinking my 8 glasses of water a least that is a start!

Kari said...

1) I don't have anything to say about the scariness of Satan saying true things, but I have a point on the issue in general. I used to watch a show called "Angel." It was a spin-off of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and in it, Angel was a vampire, but he had been cursed with his soul again (so he was a "good" vampire, fighting the forces of evil). On occasion, Angel would lose his soul or be turned back into his old demonic form of Angelus. One such time, a character was advising another character not to listen to what he said because he lied with the truth. I've always thought that was a pretty accurate description of Satan as well, which makes sense, seeing as how Angelus was so evil and all.

3) I had a rough couple of moments last Friday in a couple of my classes where I know I was overreacting to minor offenses because it was the end of a long week. I also know that I hadn't been doing what I needed to do to put God first over my idols in my life, and I believe it showed. Sometimes when I decide to put aside my "singleness/marriage" idol, I turn to my second false idol as a coping mechanism instead of back to God, without realizing it, of course. As I said before, that's politics and this year's election. I just can't stop reading about it online. For a while, I did better, wasn't watching ALL of my political shows. I cut back, but after a while I went right back to my old ways. I realized that this weekend, and I also finally got disgusted with myself for my eating habits and lack-of-working-out consistently habits. Saturday was a particularly chocolate-filled day, and I don't think I can honestly blame hormones either! So, I've rededicated myself this week to better habits. I woke up 15 minutes earlier this morning to get on the treadmill for a mile, and I am bound and determined to make it to Curves after school, no excuses, and walk some more when I get home from that. This kills two birds with one stone because, obviously, I start working out more, but it also cuts into my political time, so I'm forced not to spend so much time "worshipping" that idol. Of course, it's only day one....

dianna said...

Kari, wow, that is a perfect description of Satan - he lies with the truth.

Boy, last week I had to turn off the TV because of the financial crisis thing. I have found myself watching parts of the Palin/Biden VP debate over again & listening to the news channels analyze it over and over....I finally said to myself, enough is enough I'm going outside to play!
(Which is decorating the yard for fall!)

Nancy said...

Hey Girs...I'm finally checking in this week.

#1- Interesting & oh so frightening. I can see how it is so easy to get sucked into a state of uncertainty & unsecurity when Satan shows us what may be true, but not the truth. I'm so grateful that God loves us enough to give us a direct line to the Truth. Now, if only I would use His Word as my first place to go for the Truth, instead of first hashing through it in my mind & allowing vain imaginations cloud my judgement.

#2- I struggle in this area BIG time, mostly because I'm an "All-or-Nothing" type of thinker, and prefer "End Product" to the processes of life. I really love it when God's leadings are bold and in my face, but those gentle nudgings cause me more than just a little bit of inner turmoil because of course, I seek obedience, but lack confidence and security in God's provision when my shortcomings could lead to failure. Right now, my struggle has to do with our current adoption journey. You know, I had this perfectly cosntructed plan in my mind about the age of our future daughter and how she would fit into our family. And, I believe that God knows what is absolutely the very best for me and my family, but I'm still second guessing my aibilty to hear God say to me that He will fill in the gaps for my shortcomings in my roles of wife, mother, etc. with the addition of an infant (which is not what I had planned, but is what He seems to be planning for us).

#3- I would love to say that I have established a big change, but so far, it's nothing grand. I, too, feel the daily struggle with food and weight. I love to eat! Did I mention that I love to eat? I love everything about the experience and have fallen into the bad habit of letting food be my de-stressor. However, I'm no spring chicken anymore and after having a hysterectomy 3 years ago, I have been packing on the pounds & am stuck in a rut. So, I am trying to give up the idol of food with TV after 9:00 p.m. I've been eating sugar-free popsicles for my bedtime treat, but, I must confess that I'm missing my normal bowl of ice cream or cereal!