Lately I’ve been reading through the book of Jeremiah and have been struck at the sheer idolatry of God’s people… of course the Bible is full to the brim of stories, commandments, passages about idolatry and we see in Jeremiah that God just had enough. He hates idols. So much so he gave ‘the beloved of his soul into the hands of her enemies’ (12:7). Beloved of his soul. Just rest on those words for a minute. His people Israel were the beloved of his soul. What a beautiful and rich way to describe his children. To describe you and me.
So I felt Father God talk to me about idolatry and reading Colossians 3:5 ‘covetousness, which is idolatry’ was one of those painful heart-prod moments. Uh oh. Guilty. I can list off a whole host of things I have or are coveting. Isn’t that a symptom of discontentment too? I then went on a little journey with Jesus, through which he gently challenged me about the areas of idolatry in my life. Areas where I was obsessing over, or thinking about too much, or allowing to become a greater gain than actually dwelling with him, knowing him, worshipping him. Isn’t that what idolatry means? To place someTHING or someONE above God? To worship something more than him? To love something more than our creator? Isn’t it like saying ‘yes I’m your beloved Lord, but I love ‘this’ more…’? I think there was a reason the first commandment was ‘you shall have no other gods before me’ (Ex 20:3)!
Through complete Holy Spirit conviction, I decided to take necessary steps to lay down my biggest (current) idol at his feet. To put it completely in his hands. I repented of my idol, deleted the relevant app on my phone and made a conscious decision not to waste hours of my week browsing the internet for my idol, the thing I am coveting the most. And man alive, how freeing. Just the act of giving it to God, to completely trust him for what only he can make happen, is such a freeing thing to do! I highly recommend it.
Because I am the beloved of his soul. He loves and wants me. He is jealous for me, for my attention, my love, my desire. He adores me too much to leave me in a place of discontentment.
Praise Jesus that he is the founder and perfecter of our faith and is always working in us for our good, making us more like him. You, my friend, are the beloved of his soul. What idol do you have in your life that maybe you need to repent of and lay down? What do you need to allow the Holy Spirit to prod you about? What practical things do you need to do to make this a real, intentional change in your life?
I love how God is such a generous giver, so abundant in his blessings to us (because we are the beloved of his soul!) but here’s a question: which are we seeking more? The GIFT or the GIVER?
Loving Jesus in absolute fullness – 100% trusting him, knowing him, seeking after him, resting in his goodness and faithfulness – surely there is no greater thing than that? I’m thankful that he has put this desire in my heart and will do what it takes in me to bring me to that place… it’s a long road ahead, but one I happily choose to walk with him.