'Idols in our life.' We've all heard the concept before, and the lecture that goes along with it: don't let anything in your life be above God. But can you relate? I couldn't until about a month ago. I used to nod my head in agreement, but, to be honest, nothing was really interfering with God in my life. Then that changed.
When we moved, God quickly gave me friends, who are amazing. I am so thankful for them. BUT, because I had been staved of the constant, every-day kind of friendship (sure, I still emailed and valued my old friends, but there was an element of frequency that was missing) I started to idolise my new friends. They became "objects of my excessive and superior adoration." (My variation of The Concise Oxford Dictionary's definition of 'idol.') True, I did not live to please them, and I believe they were a 'mild' idol; but they were an idol nonetheless, I had to give them over to God.
Unknowing of my situation (nice one, God!), the mum of a friend shared the 'open hand' concept. Instead of pulling our hands into a fist, and holding tightly to what God has given us, we should let them lay open, alowing God to do what he wants with his blessings. (While it's true that God can take them away, even if our hand is closed, we still need to make a conscious decision to release them to him.)
So in my personal devotion, I physically laid my hand open, and pretended to place in it my friendships. I told God that He could have them and do whatever He wished with them. I told Him I wanted Him to be in the highest place in my life. After praying, I felt a shift. I knew my friends weren't an idol any more.
However, after a while I realised that this would be a continual process. Satan keeps trying to shove friends onto the top of my life, and I have to pray to get them back down and God back up. I don't know how long this will go on for. But I do know that I must always watch for signs of idols, and be willing to give them over to God.
With sisterly love,