Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MY god...or my GOD?

Today I had to come face to face with a really difficult, deep truth--a truth I (and I'm sure you'd agree) don't like to stare in the face. Heck, I don't even want to admit that it exists, much less own it. But as it is, I have to...knowing this is for my betterment and my growth.

I listened to Pastor Mark Driscoll speak in 1 Peter chapter 4, and I was expecting to learn more about suffering. And since I don't consider myself to be a "sufferer" right now in my life, I thought it'd be a breeze...probably not much conviction to worry about today, right?

Wrong.

I wouldn't even have camped out on this verse had I been studying on my own probably, but it stuck out to me like a blinding neon light.

"For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17 (ESV)

Backing up, Pastor Mark was explaining that we as humans were made to be worshipers...we are continually worshiping something or someone. I didn't really give it much thought at first, but then I felt God nudge my heart the way He does with such love, yet with such conviction.

What are you worshiping, Cara?

My immediate reaction is always: "Well, YOU, Lord...of course." But today He brought to mind the many ways I have been worshiping other things...and how they can so easily get in between my heart and my Jesus.

Pastor Mark spoke about being a people pleaser and how that is a common, but still dangerous, sin of the heart. It leads to many other sins when you get right down to it. Being obsessed with what others think and say and feel about you can lead you to do and say things that don't line up with scripture. And the dangerous part is: it usually happens slowly and subtly.

As I sat, soaking all this in, I knew that I had to ask God if I was guilty of being a people pleaser. I had to seek judgment on my heart, just like Peter said--to dig out those little gods. (I know, if you have to ask, then you know the answer, right?)

Right.

It was true. He was talking about ME. I am a people pleaser. I asked God where I am guilty the most in this, and my blog actually came to mind fairly quickly (among other things). It probably sounds silly, but I realized that I sometimes wrote expecting reactions from others instead of writing for the sole purpose of sharing with others what God has taught me. So, this has led me to turn my comments off. I think that will help me to stay focused on Him and not me.

My name is Cara, and I've been guilty of worshiping the idol named APPROVAL.

I fall so easily, Lord. Thank You for gently convicting my heart and showing me how to better follow You. Help me to live for Your glory only...every day that You have given me. Lord, I hand my idol to You, praying that You will smash it and cleanse my heart, giving me a deeper hunger for Your acceptance and approval--not others'. The song says: "YOU are my hope...not THEY are my hope." Thank You for grace and for mercy...only You know just how desperately I need them.

Peace of Christ to you,
Cara