Here is a story a friend shared with me that I think we all might relate to.
"I can’t believe he is texting me!" Laura and her sisters squealed as she updated them on every text she received from a guy friend of hers. What started out as an innocent friend-to-friend conversation turned into an overwhelming part of her thought life. She wondered, Will he text me today? Should I start texting him? Should I try and casually sit by him when we hang out in groups?
Thoughts like these consumed her mind for many months. Although she is glad to say she is no longer placing him as an idol in her life, she is still embarrassed and ashamed of the way she put such a high priority on this guy. The attention he gave her was so exciting because he was a popular and well-liked guy by many of the friends and families she was close to. What started out as small part of her thoughts turned into an overwhelming part of her life.
I have a feeling many of you girls can relate to this type of guy obsession. Laura didn’t become obsessed by her guy all at once; it was a slow process of allowing her mind to dwell on thoughts about him more and more until one day she thought about him 24/7. In her heart she wanted it to turn into a serious relationship that would glorify God, but her actions said, "I want this guy to like me, and I am willing to act selfishly and immaturely to get him to like me and pursue me."
I know God puts a great desire in all of our hearts to love and be loved by a man. God created marriage, and it’s a beautiful thing. But if a boy or marriage or romance ever becomes the most important thing in our lives leading us to say "I must have it," then you have just put your desires on the throne in your life and have taken God off.
Elyse Fitzpatrick has said, "Idols aren’t just stone statues. No, idols are the thoughts, desires, longings, and expectations that we worship in the place of the true God. Idols cause us to ignore the true God in search of what we think we need."
We need to remember that God is in control and if we are seeking to do His will and not our own in every area of our lives, then we can rest assured that we will find satisfaction and joy in Christ alone. Remember, only God can fully satisfy. No earthly thing (including men) will ever be able to satisfy you and meet all of your needs. The great news about making God number one in our lives is that He will give us what we need (not want) and He will bless us according to His will and His desires. When you learn to love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, your desires will become more and more like God’s desires and you will feel truly content and satisfied.
So I challenge you to give your heart’s desires for boys, clothes, make-up, electronics, sports, looks, and everything in between to God. Let Him satisfy your deepest longings. If you do, you will soon find that you don’t "need" those other things and you can have true joy and happiness no matter what your circumstance.
Let me ask you a few basic questions to help you see if you have an idol in your own life. Answer honestly, because that’s the only way you will see the truth.
- What must you have for life to be meaningful?
- What do you put your hope and trust in?
- Who or what do you love most?
- Is there anything you can’t live without?
- What must you have in order to be truly happy?
If your answers to the questions above are anything but God, then you have an idol in your life. Stick around for part two of this series tomorrow, and I’ll share how Laura removed that crush of hers as an idol in her own life and how you, too, can remove your own idols.
Let me leave you with a verse to wrap this all up:
And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37).