My friend Paula Hendricks is an amazing young woman with a heart for God. She recently wrote the book Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and one chapter in particular caught my attention. In the midst of stressing to singles how a guy can be an idol, she wrote about "little g" gods in general that become idols, versus pursuing the "big G"—God Himself:
I'm not the only one tempted to turn back to my idols. Over and over in the Old Testament, God's people crushed their idols only to remake them and go right back to them.
Paula's insights about idol-making make me question why I sometimes allow idols to linger, unsmashed, in my own life. She continues . . .
Turns out, crushing idols and turning to God isn't a once-in-a-lifetime experience but a moment-by-moment journey. That's why, nearly every morning, I pray Psalm 90:14: Satisfy [me] in the morning with your unfailing love, that [I] may rejoice and be glad all [my] days.
Thomas Chalmers was a pastor in nineteenth-century Scotland, and his sermon "The Expulsive Power of a New Affection" captured my heart immediately. The gist of it is that you can't talk yourself out of loving someone or something. Your emotions simply won't cooperate. But you can find someone or something even more lovely to delight in.
I experienced this principle firsthand the month my doctor put me on a strict diet without sugar, bread, and lots of other yummy foods. It sounded like torture, pure and simple. I honestly didn't know how I'd survive. I was certain I'd spend the entire month dreaming about and drooling over iced sugar cookies, Nerds, and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
But an astonishing thing happened. I didn't even miss my beloved sugar. You know why? Instead of snacking on raw broccoli all month (yuck!), I went to the health-food store, researched interesting recipes, and spent hours in the kitchen preparing unique dishes. Was it a lot of work? You'd better believe it. But was it even tastier than processed, refined sugar? Absolutely.
That, my friend, is how you get rid of an idol—by investing your time in relishing something (or Someone!) better. It's what Psalm 34:8 tells us to do: Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man [and girl] who takes refuge in him!
As you pursue Christ with everything in you—as you put extra effort into tasting and seeing His goodness—you'll find that your "little g" gods don't appeal to you like they once did.
What can you start to do today to pursue Jesus with everything in you so your "little g" gods start to lose their appeal?