The Christian life is full of challenges and change. We walk a lifelong journey of being changed to be more like Jesus. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Recently at Hope Church we have had a series on recognising and removing idols in our lives. Idols are sometimes good things which have subtly taken the place of God in our lives. We may need help to recognise them as they can be hidden from us. They do not want to give up the ground they have gained in us and we may experience a battle as they seek to take back control. Thankfully we know we have victory in Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit and the support of His body the Church.
During the the series I found I was challenged by the preach on the Idol of power and glory. I recognised that although I know that I am totally reliant on God, when things go well I can easily take credit for them or look to be validated by others instead of giving God the glory. During the service I stood to respond and repented of this idol. What I didn’t expect was the battle in my mind that started 2 days later. As a mature christian I have overcome many battles but the lies thrown at me felt real and tapped into my emotions leaving me an emotional mess. It was as if many past hurts that had been dealt with and forgiven came bubbling up, all of them made me feel unvalidated. Fortunately for me I have sisters and brothers in the body of Christ that love me, don’t judge me when I struggle and help me through to final victory. Victory involved standing on forgiveness, forgiving anything new and announcing the truth that Jesus is the only one to be glorified and I live to serve Him and don’t need that validation from others. My relationship as His child is the most important one. I chose to put to death the earthly desires I struggled with. The next day I felt completely different. None of the pain of the previous day was there. the old scars healed as before.
Why do I share this? Because when we respond to God identifying an idol or an ungodly belief we may hope for immediate freedom in our lives, but often a further battle follows as we put in place new ways of thinking and behaving. As part of the body of Christ I encourage you to find a trusted brother or sister to help you recognise things that need to be prayerfully dealt with and lies you may be believing. (Ephesians 6:12) Find someone you can be accountable to. It can help to have someone alongside you as you establish your life in a way that puts God in His rightful place as first in your life. We replace the idol with Christ and line up our lives with the truth in God’s word. (Colossians 5) This may take ongoing effort on our part until victory is secured but with his Spirit living in us our victory is assured.
Written by Theresa Middleton