My heart gets distracted by the little things that feel big. It gets distracted by the silence of God and the places in life where God has left me to wait like a desperate child voluntarily tucked away in a closet, anticipating their discovery in a deceptive game of Hide and Seek.
I need the reminder of Colossians 3:1-4,
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
I attempt to wrap these Christ-exalting truths around my heart, but it’s often like a runaway train onto which I can’t jump to pull the brake. Instead, it speeds ahead to thoughts, attitudes, and action plans. My heart impulsively finds ways to replace my need for God with something to satisfy my flesh.
This truth was brought painfully to light the other day as I continued reading in Colossians 3 to verse 4,
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
Idolatry? You mean like the golden calf variety of idolatry? Plain and simply, yes. When things are not going our way and at our speed, we’re inclined to believe God has abandoned His plan and it’s up to us to satisfy the requirements. We equate God to what He is doing. If we see nothing, our impulses demand we find a new god.
We’re not the first. The People of God tired of waiting on Him to deliver His plan and decided to awaken their passions with a god they could see with their eyes and dance circles around. The provisions God had given as reminders of His power and providence were melted down and worshiped in their own right(Exodus 32). While God was inscribing the plan on the tablets, the people’s hearts drifted from their devotion to a God they could not see and who often requires His people to wait. To wait alone. To wait in silence. Like our ancestors, we rarely hear the fingerprints of God inscribing on the tablets of our lives.
It’s in the waiting we discover to what or whom we are most devoted. In the quiet, the idol worshiper in us finds an audible “voice” for God. In the unknown, the idol worshiper in us manipulates and forces plans. We push, pull, demand, and desire for a visible, tangible god…even if it must be ourselves.
Those who are convinced God is real and is who He has declared Himself to be will not presume upon His timeline or His technique. Our hearts will be still and know that He is God. We will have a heart that is not far apart from the God who made it…even when it is asked to sit and wait.
Do you find waiting on God difficult? Some of you, like me, are waiting for God to show up in a situation where God seems silent or absent. You might be waiting for a healing, a relationship to be restored, a marriage to satisfy, a baby to coo, a job to change, a boss to affirm, a child’s heart to soften. No doubt, your heart is waiting for something–I don’t personally know anyone who isn’t. In the waiting, say ‘no’ to the idols–they cannot save. Say ‘yes’ to the hope of God in Christ Jesus–He does not disappoint, no matter how long you have to wait.
If you want to do some greater examination to determine if you have idols in your life, I encourage you to check out Matt Capps blog. He has some powerful questions for taking inventory of your life. http://mattcapps.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/identifying-your-idols/