Thursday, September 27, 2007

False and Functional gods

So, last post I mentioned that my roommate and I are in a Bible Study with 3 other amazing girls (well maybe I didn't say they were amazing before, but they ARE). We are in our first week of "NO OTHER GODS: confronting our modern-day idols" (by Kelly Minter), and I just wanted to share something that was from one of the first days. Obviously we all "know" what an idol is. But this definition threw me flat-faced at the thought of those things I know have taken priority where they shouldn't.

"Most of us think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagan people...In biblical terms, it is something other than God that we set out heart on (Luke 12:29; 11 Cor. 10:9), that motivates us (1 Cor. 4:5), that masters and rules us (Ps. 119:133; Eph 5:5), or that we trust, fear, or serve (Isa. 42:17; Matt 6:24; Luke 12:4-5)...An idol can also be referred to as a "false god" or a functional god."
{Ken Sande}

Just soak all of those different idol possibilities in for a minute. Wow...I've got some things to add to my list. I wish I could say that everything I do is from 'pure' motivation, but let's face it, we are human and selfish and that is NOT always the case. Often we have things that we know are idols in our life--our 'professed' gods, if you will. But then we have 'functional' gods that actually operate as our gods. Those are sometimes the ones that sneak in on us because they are more subtle, but we are nonetheless serving them. For instance, I wouldn't automatically think of "fear" as an idol, until I consider that if it is what motivates my decision or action in a certain circumstance, then I am serving that FEAR as a (functional) god. The tricky thing about idols (especially those less noticed or realized) is that they are often inherently good and right, but they have become detrimental simply because we desire them TOO much.

I have spent some time meditating on what motivates me and takes up more of my heart and mind than should be, and it has been pretty eye-opening. Scary at first, but then beautiful as you realize what an even greater need you have for the Lord to work in you--more than you knew before. Again my thoughts were taken back to Gen. 35:4 (see previous post) where we are reminded to BURY our false gods...not ignore or suppress them (which we often see as burial, but we are really just kidding ourselves--pretending to deal with things)...but call up the funeral home and make it a done deal. Good news: you don't even have to waste time buying flowers. ;)


Patty said...

Great post! Back when I was going through marital problems and was afraid to leave the home and constantly worried about my husband to the point that it consumed my time, and took my focus off of Jesus. God taught me my husband was becoming an idol in my heart before Him. Even though we have been divorced 10 years, I remember that time with God and thank Him that he warned me about that and I quickly repented and put everything into God's hands. How I pray God will be our pursuit and nothing above Him! He is worth it!

Jackie said...

whew...that def. is good, and the idea of "functional" gods- like you said, I need to meditate and pray on that one. How easily they sneak in and set up residence, right under our noses, without any notice to us. They masquerade as good things, and they are, until they take over. UMMMMM...C-O-N-V-I-C-T-I-O-N! Thanks for opening my eyes to that sister..I need to get ask god to open my eyes to my functional gods. LOve ya!

Little Steps Of Faith said...

I'll just tell you that I think I needed to hear that.

Fran said...

Ok...Abby that was GOOD. Let me just say how awesome God is and His Word is truly amazing isn't it?
I have studied idols and I've studied Jacob, but I have not studied the concept of burying idols. Like you said, dead, 6 ft under, gone FOREVER! Just too much to think about huh??

I'm going to God right now and seek Him out. I need to know...and I mean really know my idols and get them buried.

This has helped me tremendously.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
Much love siesta. Have a great weekend.

Profbaugh said...

Ah man, Abby. . . I feel like I've just been taken out to the wood shed and given a good "whoppin'."

Although I'm a bit SORE, I'm certainly back on track. Thanks so much for this post. . . Just what I needed!

Crazy for Christ,

Erin said...

I just started the same Bible study with some girls at church!! We've also been talking about it in my religion class. Talking about pseudoreligion. I decided to write a nice long blog about it a couple weeks ago.
And I'm glad to hear you got that job even with the coffee-pants. :) funny story!

He Knows My Name said...

Thanks Abby, you know when you express a struggle/problem you really put yourself out there to be judged but i felt safe to do that here, i so appreciate prayer from my sisters in Christ.

false and functional gods is such a big sneeky issue in the society we live we must all be on guard. i didn't no kelly minter had a bible study but i love her songs!

~ Janel