I mentioned in my post yesterday that this is the last week of the women’s bible study that I am participating in. A group of women, young and old, have gathered together for the past 5 weeks on Thursday evenings to dive into the story of Gideon. We are using the book ‘Gideon” by Priscilla Shirer. I have never done a Priscilla Shirer study before this one, but I am loving it. At first, I didn’t think this was going to be my speed. I’m not big into battles, whether they are on tv, movies, books, or even in the Bible. I know, it’s God’s Holy word, and I am a Christian, so I have to like it. That is true, but being a Christian, or a human in general, makes me an imperfect sinner. So, truth is, I shy away from diving into the details of ALL of the MANY battles in the Old Testament. Or at least I have before now. Priscilla really showed me that there is so much more to read into on these battles than I had ever seen before. You see, I don’t plan on ever going to war personally, so why do I need to read about it? Well, there is so much to relate to our own lives. We are constantly at battle with something, even if it is just ourself.
If you follow my personal page on facebbok, you have probably been tired of my random quotes from this study showing up as a status. You probably also became concerned that I was going to join in with the whole hashtag epidemic that is plaguing social media. Truth is, Priscilla encourages people following the Gideon study, to tweet/facebook using the hashtag #LessonsFromGideon, so that we can all come together online and see what others are getting out of the study. Although, I do hope you were able to get something out of my status updates, the truth is it was all of selfish intent. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in to the #LessonsFromGideon discussion.
It would take me forever to blog about all of the “lightbulb” moments that I underwent while going through this study. So, I will just share my latest…
This week (the final week of the study) we are closing in on idolatry. In Judges, Chapter 8, the Israelites having just come out of a victory against the Midianites, are seeking to idolize Gideon by appointing him as their King. They are giving Gideon the credit that should be God’s. How often do we do the same thing?
“We call them bad habits, issues, obsessions, cravings. Carefully, craftily, we steer clear of saying idol just as Israel’s leaders navigated around the word melek (meaning King) (Shirer, p. 153).” You see, Israel never specifically stated that Gideon would be their King (Melek), but they did ask him to rule over them. They knew that God did not intend for them to ever appoint their own king (Deuteronomy 17:14-15), just as we know that God doesn’t intend on us to put anything before Him. We think that if we don’t call it an idol, then it must not be an idol. As Priscilla said in her video, “If it looks like a chicken, and squacks like a chicken, it must be a chicken”. “Whoever or whatever rules, no matter what we call it, is indeed king (Shirer, p. 154).”
An idol is in fact, “anything in the visible, created realm that begins to operate in a role that should be reserved for God (Shirer, p. 151).” “Anything includes everything — even gifts God has given us to enjoy can take the wrong positions in our lives…Under the guise of goodness, we leave them unattended in our lives until they rise to an inappropriate position of power (Shirer, p. 154-155).”
Which leads me to my point in sharing this with you. She provides an example that I will share next. This example reveals one of my idols. It is so descriptive of my current state, that I substituted the name Crystal that she used in her example for my own name in my study book….
Crystal Nicole enjoys nibbling on tasty treats that nourish her body and delight her taste buds. But she’s slowly become mastered by the desire to eat chocolate. Now she can’t pass up a delicacy without putting her hands to her mouth, even if her stomach is filled to the brim, and even if feeling sick is only one bite away (Shirer, p. 155).”
So here I am admitting that I idolize something above God. Remember that imperfect sinner part I told you about above. Well, here it is rearing its ugly head again. Yes, I still love God. Yes, I want to serve Him in all that I do. So, what do I do now? I’m not 100% sure. I know that I am going to have to take steps to move chocolate back down to a level below God.
I can hear you through this computer screen. You are saying: “It is just chocolate. We all love something sweet every now and then. You are being a little bit dramatic aren’t you?”
My response to that is, It is something that I find comfort in, something I lean on when I am stressed, something I eat out of boredom, something I just can’t say no to. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to say that I find comfort in God, that I lean on Him when I am stressed, that I read my Bible and pray when I am bored, and that I just cannot say no to God. Wow! I long to be able to say these things.
What is something that you have been idolizing in your life? Something that stands between you and your Master? Something that you have been downplaying as just something you enjoy? Please don’t hesitate to share. Misery loves company, and I am feeling pretty down on myself right now.
P.s. please excuse my grammar…my little guy just woke up so no time to proofread and I’m dying to share this with you.
Shirer, P. Gideon: Your Weakness. God’s Strength. Adult Ministry Publishing (2013).