Tuesday, November 13, 2012

another miracle of deliverance

Almost a year ago, I wrote about how God released me from a lifetime of body image issues.  When I asked (repeatedly) to be released from the burden, I never really thought it would happen.  It seemed so ingrained in me that I thought I'd just have to live with it.  And yet I prayed -- time and again -- and confessed my idolization of the "perfect" body.  And surely enough, God delivered me.

Well, it's happened again.  I am in shock, but it's happened again with another idol that has plagued my life for many years.

And with its release, I am reminded of why I spend each day in the Word and in prayer with the Lord.  Because He's real.  Because His Power is real.  Because without spending each day with Him, my commitment to God is a sham and I am not letting Him transform me from the inside out.

These moments when I am transformed -- 
when I feel the chains fall away from my body, left along the road somewhere -- 
are so unbelievably freeing. 

Photo by J Pod on flickr

Over the last year or two, I have felt a mounting desire for financial wealth and stability.  Living in our beautiful (but ritzy) neighborhood hasn't helped.  I've started to buy into the idea that we need an excess of money to be comfortable and provide for our children.  But even more than that -- I've made money to be an idol in my life.  It's been something I've longed for -- desiring me or Elliott to get lucrative jobs in order to live beyond comfortably, in a large home, and to never be in want.

Being wise with money is good.  Wanting to provide for our family is good.  These aren't bad things, but I've turned them into idols because I've been trusting more in money (or the idea of money) than in the Lord.

The ironic thing here is that we are in missions and we rely on the transformed hearts of others to have an income.   God has sort of worked it into our lives so that I cannot run away from this issue.  I've come before God again and again in confession -- admitting how much of a hold money has had on my heart.  I didn't want to live that way.  And throughout the year, we've had our ups and downs.  When the "down" moments happened, I usually despaired.

But a few weeks ago, something different happened.

We are having a rough couple of months financially.  Maybe even a rough year.  We are trying very hard to come out of it -- to ask more people onto our support team -- to find new ways to raise support -- but we keep losing supporters just as fast (if not faster) than we gain them.  This is cause for disappointment.

But suddenly, there's been a shift in my heart and soul.  Suddenly, in the face of discouraging financial news, instead of despairing and asking God, "Why?" I have been sprung into worship -- praising the Lord and saying freely, "God, you know best."

Some Christians have been blessed with financial wealth and are doing great things with it, but this is not the life to which we were called.  But because of the life we have been given, I am experiencing immense spiritual blessings -- the biggest one, so far, being this great release from an idol that has been in my life for a long time.

God promises that He will bless His children.  He promises that He will provide.  Our mistake is to think we know what blessings look like -- that it will always take the form we want it to take.  If we release our wills to His -- if we pray to see as He sees -- we might just experience true blessings that last beyond this earthly life.
  • How has God released you from an idol in your life?  How do you sense He is currently working?
  • How have you received blessings from the Lord that do not "look like" blessings by our earthly standards? 

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