Other… No other gods… check, got that down, no other gods in my life except maybe there are. These gods are sneaky, well actually they are not alive, so the issue is really my affections being sneaky, my desires being tricky, or maybe just me forgetting to be honest about how my heart can be a “perpetual idol factory” as John Calvin once called it. Mine are not fame or fortune so they can be rewarded and encouraged by onlookers. I am driven or deeply compassionate, discerning, which when in check or in line with the Holy Spirit are good and perfect gifts, but when the flesh takes over the drivenness becomes control, and the compassion becomes more about my need to fix and help. Discernment gives way to criticalness. The god of security and comfort creep up and the fear issues that drive these really boil down to trust issues with God.
Just like the Israelites when they got nervous because Moses disappeared up the mountain covered in a cloud and fire for too many days by their estimate, they decided it was time to bring back their old gods (Exodus 32). Bring back the other gods that were familiar and help them feel in control because they understood and could control these other gods. In a situation where they felt deeply out of control, and everything was unknown these other gods would bring back some sense of normalcy to their day.
I used to judge the Israelites. How could they go there are crossing the Red Sea on dry land or seeing Pharaoh’s army drowned in the same sea? Or witnessing God’s hand of protection as each plague dismantled all of Egypt’s other gods and showed who the true God was. But fear and unknown drives them back to the other gods. Even a powerless god was more security in the face of this very powerful, uncontrollable, unknown God. Even after they had heard God’s own voice declare that they were to have no other gods before him, days later here they were using their treasures that God provided to mold a god in the image of their known.
As my Sunday School class goes through Kelly Minter’s study, No other gods, and I am coming off of a book discussion on gods at War by Kyle Idleman, I am back to asking myself what gods am I at the ready to mold and fashion, or resurrect when life is unknown, or God seems to have a longer time table than I prefer? Which other gods do I default to when I feel out of control? What gods do I keep around, just in case? Where are they seeping into a space that was created to be satisfied by the only God that can bring satisfaction and peace?
Thankfully God is very real and very loving. He is quick to mercy and compassion. His mercies are new every morning and He is willing to meet me in those spaces of mistrust and reveal His true character that is greater than any other god that I could create.
* I am joining Five Minute Fridays in a 31 day Writing Challenge. Each day I will be writing on a different word prompt for at least 5 minutes for the month of October.
**Check out 2018’s 31 Day Writing Challenge https://inkblotlife.com/category/write-31-days-2018/