I recently got back from ReFRESH in the Smokies. This year was one of our best conferences to date. As always, the Lord used each speaker in a mighty way. There are so many things that I heard that convicted and challenged me, and I have come to understand the importance of getting alone with the Lord and hammering out every little thing that He has said to me, to know what it is He desires from me.
I can hear something very profound and convicting, write it down, tweet it, and tell someone else about it, but unless I sit down and actually figure out what it means for me, and my walk with Him, it will not have a lasting affect on my life.
So that is what I’m doing. I’m taking the time to sit and wait and seek His face, and listen for His whisper. It isn’t easy. In only a few days, dozens of things have been an easy distraction for me. Besides the obvious (television, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook), I have found myself wanting to turn to a book or a Bible study or a sermon rather than just sitting down with the Word of God and waiting on Him to speak. As if I need more than His Word.
I would like to share with you a little about what I am hammering out right now. When Ed Litton spoke about idolatry at ReFRESH, I learned quickly that my heart truly is an idol-making factory (John Calvin). When I think of idols, my first thought is always the golden calf of the exiled Israelites. I immediately think that I could not have an issue with idolatry, because I know that I would never do such a thing as Aaron allowed. And yet, I have. I have taken the good things, the passions that He has given me, and the desires of my heart, and turned them into something I love more than Him.
Ed Litton stated in his sermon “Laying My Isaacs Down” (this can be found on North Mobile’s podcast) – “Most Americans who go to church today will hear a message about pursuing their dreams in the years ahead, or making someone else’s dream become a reality. Has it ever crossed our minds that getting the desire of our heart may be the worst thing that could ever happen to us?” He goes on to explain that in Romans 1, Paul writes that the worst punishment God has for His people is to give them over to their desires.
Is this true for me?
An idol is taking something good in your life – that which gives you meaning, significance, purpose, that which you think you could not live without – and making it the ULTIMATE thing in your life. This is easily done. We know that the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the human heart. Yet our human hearts, our idol-making factories, constantly struggle to turn that good thing we love into our ultimate satisfaction.
I have found that my idol-making heart has turned Africa, my love for orphans and “the least of these” into an idol. I realized that I desired it more than Christ. And no matter what I said, no matter how often I told myself that I would be content with whatever He does with me, I found myself trying to pry open doors of opportunity rather than sitting and waiting on His.Perfect.Timing.
It was subtle, really. The enemy and my wretched self had told me that I was longing to do something good for the kingdom. So I justified my passions, and too often ignored my God. But it wasn’t until the Lord whispered in my ear, “What if I never send you back to Africa? What if you are never able to adopt that precious little boy you so long for? What if I told you that I don’t need another Katie Davis? That I can take care of those beautiful, impoverished children without you? What would you do then? Would you trust Me? Would you find your satisfaction in Me?”
“Am I enough for you?”
I still don’t know if I can truly answer “yes” to that question. I’m not going to pretend like I have it all together. I don’t. I am still searching His Word, and begging for His grace. I am still learning to seek His face. Not His hand, not His people, but Him alone. I am still learning how to believe Him at His Word.
After all, He is I AM.
I AM the Almighty God.
I AM your Shepherd.
I AM the Ultimate Sacrifice.
I AM your Redeemer.
I AM Jehovah Jireh.
I AM Life.
I AM your Future.
I AM Love.
I AM Faith.
I AM for you.
I AM ENOUGH.