Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Morning Reflections ~ Consuming Fire


I continue to study Ann Spangler's "Praying the Names of God" and link up with Jill of Forever N Ever N Always.

This week our focus is on God as a Consuming Fire who is completely holy and eventually will destroy anything opposed to His holiness.  He is also a Jealous God and asks us for our complete devotion. 


Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is jealous, is a Jealous God. Exodus 34:14

What do you think of when you hear the word idol? 

I think of the Old Testament people who built Asherah poles to worship other gods. 

And today I think of the statues of images like Buddah.


Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you;  do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:23-23
However, I'm finding out that idols can be anything that you place first in your life above God.  Because God loves me, He cannot endure unfaithfulness.  My relationship with Him is to be exclusive; nothing else should stand in the way.

Last year, I completed a study by Kelly Minter called "No Other Gods".  She dealt with modern day idols.  Now, you may not bow down to graven images.  But think about the things you run to because you think they will give you what you need.

A well behaved family, a loving husband, success, money, fame, a beautiful home, lots of friends, chocolate, alcohol, drugs ...

Our God knows that nothing or no one can satisfy like He can.  He knows how easy it is for us to try to find things to fill us but they don't work or last.  Only God ...

He is the One to be exalted and honored above all.

Ann Spangler wrote a beautiful prayer:
Lord, you are holy beyond my understanding, perfect in a way I cannot perceive.  Help me to catch a glimpse of your glory and to grow more zealous for your name, that I might exalt it by the way I live and the way I love.  Send your refining fire to heal and purge my heart and send your all-consuming love to lead me home.  Amen.
Do you desire to grow in holiness?

Do you have any idols in your life?

These are tough questions if we're being honest with ourselves.  It's too easy to compare ourselves to one another and think we're doing OK.

But think about this. 

We are loved by the one, true living God. 

He is jealous for our love. 

He is holy and perfect. 

How awesome is that?  So, what will our response back be? 

Blessings and love,

18 comments:

  1. My response to that and this post is AWESOME!

    Can't wait to write mine out tomorrow!

    Love and hugs!
    Jill

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  2. Wishing you dear Debbie a great new week ahead!

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  3. I'm in such total agreement with how you have defined 'idols'...anything we put before God. It is quite a challenge to always put God first...we are only human...all we can do is remember and keep trying. It's my hope he smiles down on us through it all!

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  4. Hello Debbie,
    I come glad when I come now first time here.Here is good and pretty!

    Love and God bless you.

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  5. Yes. Only God. All to often I catch myself idolizing other things and people - setting them before Him. And they always disappoint, don't they? Great reminder for me today.

    And thank you for posting that prayer - I love it.

    Have a great week, girl!

    Blessings,
    Kate :)

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  6. Thanks for this post! It is almost too easy to let those idols sneak into our lives!

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  7. Yes it is soo true. I think if we are being honest at one point or another MANY things have been idols in our life. At least temporary ones. It doesn't take long before we realize that our particular idol (whatever that might be) cannot fill the need within us. Only He can. NOTHING at all in front of Him is the only way to go....Have a wonderful day Debbie...HUGS

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  8. This book looks wonderful! I have Kelly's book and have not had the chance to read it. Sounds like I need to finish some others and get to it.

    It is amazing what we place in our lives as "idols" and not even realize it. Thanks for a great post of reminders!

    Hugs!
    Susan

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  9. Debbie:

    I too, always used to think of idols as stone gods in the Old Testament. The realization that idols abound in our daily lives if we let them, is pretty scary. It's so easy to elevate so many things, even good things, to the 'idol' level. And as you said so well... God wants none of that, He wants to be our first love!

    Great post sister!

    Love you.

    Sonja

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  10. Goodness the idols around and about, so easy for me to get caught up in...even MY pursuit of "doing worthy things" in my life can be an idol in itself... if it gets me thinking more about "what" than "WHOM"...you are so right, still and always must be "GOD FIRST"!

    xxxxxx
    Carol Joy

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  11. Idols are so sneaky. Like you said, they aren't always statues sitting around. Even our pursuit for health and wellness can become an idol. I have to keep myself in check. Often times FOOD makes my stomach an idol. God have mercy.

    Yes, He is a jealous God and desires to have our whole hearts.

    Love this post!

    Love you,
    b

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  12. Debbie, what a great book. I'm going to have to put that one on my summer reading list.

    I bet it's been powerful. His names are something I've never studied in-depth before.

    Thank you for reminding me that idols aren't only for the biblical times. (As I take way too much time trying to figure out my new cellphone!)

    Blessings to you friend!

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  13. Hi Debbie! Yes, it is incredibly awesome to be loved by God! And how could I respond in any other way but to always put Him first? But, to be honest, I know I fail in this sometimes -- but praise God, I'm learning. I also will confess that I sometimes look to other things to find satisfaction. You mentioned "chocolate" in your list of idols. Wow. That's my big weakness. I like to joke and say that it's made from a vegetable (the cocoa BEAN) so we must eat some every day. Ha ha! However, it never gives me the satisfaction that God does. Thanks for the wonderful reminder!

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  14. It's not mistake that my morning devotion took me straight to the passage about idols and the Sabbath day and keeping it holy! Long before the craziness of this day arrived, God knew I would need a stern lecturing about idols...

    It could have easily gone that route for me today, but it didn't. I kept perspective and am actually worn out with the entire process! And get this, long before today, I arrived at the point of being mostly over myself, so all the more. Honestly, God surrendered too much on my behalf for me to go walking around thinking I'm something when all I really am is a sinner saved by a his gracious grace.

    That I am, sweet friend. That I am.

    peace~elaine

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  15. It's like a never-ending spiritual spring cleaning! About the time I think I'm completely free of idols, I find myself clutching much too tightly to something, or someone.

    How refreshing & freeing it is when He is enough.

    Hugs,
    Kathleen

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  16. Even this blogging, the very thing we enjoy if not careful can become our idols. I love the way you reminded us that idols do not mean those graven images only. And this world has so many distractions nowadays that take our eyes and focus on our Lord. May the Lord guide us and give us His children, that hunger that wants only Him. God bless.

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  17. Dear Debbie,
    I cried today as I put my sister on the plane to return to Wisconsin. We always spend six months together and enjoy each other so much. I need to make sure that I do not allow her to be an idol in my life though. I love the song Ann Graham Lotz always plays "Just give me Jesus". I want that to be more of a reality in my life.
    Sue

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Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA