They're sneaky little suckers, aren't they?
Maybe it's a toxic relationship, over eating, a controlling emotion, compulsive shopping , an addictive substance, a coping mechanism, an obsessive thought, a memory, a fear ... it makes no difference, really.
They each have potential pull and power to dethrone Jesus and resurrect itself as King of the heart without even so much as permission! They can all become a counterfeit comfort.
It's engrained in us to worship.
Sound familiar to our ancestors from the Old Testament, struggling day after day with the inherent desire to worship something, anything?
And when God, in His timing, didn't move, respond, react with their timing, they quickly defaulted to worshiping an idol.
It's a God-designed gift that was stitched into the very fiber of our soul. But just like anything, it also has the potential to become twisted, perverted and skewed in the residue of this fallen world which belongs to our enemy.Remembering how often my own heart is so easily deceived to the deception and affection of a counterfeit comfort, as I meditate on the beauty & wisdom within the pages of God's word. Reading words of preparation- preparing for battle, for standing firm, for confidence against opposition, for taking thoughts captive, for loving immeasurably, for serving beyond measure.
But I'm noticing His warning on idolatry- all together different than the standing firm advise He gives towards other enemy attacks- He's fiercely warning me to tie up my shoe laces and run! Flee! Don't look back! The muck of idolatry is thick and is a deep, costly, stronghold that has the potential to fling me into an out-of-order lifestyle faster than I'll know what hit me.
My heart whispers "at all cost, be sensitive to even an inkling of tasting possible false-comfort."
The remedy? Ah, so simple, until...
God becames quiet.
God doesnt respond as I desire.
My fears dictate my reality.
My anxiety is given access to the drivers seat of my life.
The enemy whispers lies of individual worth and value, or lack of.
Insecurities take root in the depth of my belief system.
My heart knows the remedy is clinging to Him. But how easily reality chooses to not match theology.
It's here, if we've tasted it enough (and, honestly, who hasn't) the bitter-after taste of counterfeit comfort -
Poison to my heart.
Poison to my mind.
Poison to my soul.
Poison to my spirit.
Then it dawned on me... the FOUR areas God desires for me to love Him most are,
Ironically, the same four areas false-comfort threatens to steal the most.
Ah, but the deception of the comfort is convincing and deeply luring, isn't it? Promising joy that's fleeting and falsely dressed up as beauty.
But under the deceptive mask is often a death to the heart, a death to a relationship, a death to a mind, a soul, a spirit and even in some circumstances, a body.
It's as if I can hear His gentle voice speaking straight to my spirit, warning me that these idols often sneak in subtlety through the back door and slither their way to the throne of the heart, all the while planting seeds of lies of God's love, or lack of.
The difficult position, however, is it has now been given access to the holy and sacred place of the heart, fully and completely convincing the emotions that I am unable to live without it.
It manifests itself as a false sense of identity and false-security.
And this is often why releasing an counterfeit comfort often feels like losing a limb.It ushers in deep grief even at the slightest thought of saying goodbye.
It catapults emotions of overwhelming despair at the hint of release.
It's powerful grip derails us into hopeless disillusionment.
Even though surrender, trust and faith are the bedrock to full intimate right relationship with Jesus, it just may be the most difficult and most courageous decision we will ever make.
Oh this process hurts. But this decision, this choice, this action, this step of love brings wholeness. Brings life back into the dry bones. Brings joy. Brings peace. Brings fullness. Brings redemption Brings restoration. Brings FREEDOM.
God is desperate and passionate about releasing us from the heavy, painful, exhausting, destructive and toxic chains of idolatry in order for our soul to sing a new song.