Yesterday I spoke at my church. It was a hard message but one that needed to be said. God always seems to set me up to say the things that are true and real in my heart. I found it interesting that the girl that grew up trying to hide everything because it was the only way to be safe, now stands in front of a congregation and speaks truth boldly. The topic was the idol of control. We were in a series called counterfeit gods. I was closing out the series. There are two different kinds of idols. There are surface idols and source idols. Surface idols being things like money, achievement, relationships, and more. But source idols are things like power, control, comfort, and approval. The thing that I found most interesting, as I studied about these things, is we literally could be dealing with all of them at the same time but one of them is our king in the mountain. One of them is what all the other source idols flow from. For me, the king of the mountian is control. So…
Approval looks more like trying to control how I am percieved.
Comfort looks more like keeping others at arms length to control my time and energy.
Power looks more like controlling all the tasks and details with efficiancy.
Over the last couple months, it has felt like everything was being pressed into the tip of a spear. My work life has gotten really heavy. My home life has been really bland but the housework has been alot. Especially since it is harvest time. We have a large garden in, and this year, I felt compelled to help more than I ever have. Which also means that since I am involved, I want to control how it goes, happens, and is taking care of. All if these things have kind of converged together and have put my heart into a pressure cooker. I was also writing 4 weeks of messages through the book of Ephesians with daily devos (that I finally asked a friend to help me with on the last week) and I was writing the message about this idol of control. It was a lot. I got it done. But by the time the week of this message was ready to be spoken, I was tired! Then I went on vacation, more like a staycation. So, what did I do? I ran to the world of comfort. I literally did absolutely nothing except for what was absolutely necessary for 9 days. As I allowed myself that time to just stop. It seemed as though all the things that I read, all the things that I was listening to, all were intertwined in what I was dealing with.
When God is ready to deal with something in your life. The evidence is everywhere!Starla
Last Friday I wanted to quit my life. I think I had isolated for a little too long. I had decided it would be better for me to stay in the land of comfort (on permanent vacation) than to continue what I was doing. So, what do you do when fatalistic thinking enters your mind and you begin to spiral into a mess? You phone a friend! I called up my friend. I began to just talk to her about regular stuff and then slowly I just barfed all my feelings and thoughts.
Why am I even telling you this?
Because we have a really bad habit of not talking about how we really feel and what we are actually thinking. Most of the time, we are far too afraid of looking crazy and being judged for our out of control thought lives. But there is something powerful that happens when we speak the truth out of our mouths because it has the potential to break the power of lies.
The scripture says that whatever is brought into the light becomes transformed by it. (Ephesians 5:13) When I began to speak the truth of how I was feeling and what I was thinking. It was as if my logical mind came back online and realized, “oh, I am dealing with some toxic thinking here.” I couldn’t even see that until I said it. What this did was break the power of these thoughts and feelings off of me. So that I could begin to receive from God again what He has intended for me.
So I finally felt free of all of these thoughts and then I woke up Sunday morning at 5am. I swept and mopped my kitchen floor and I made coffee. I sat down and read my devotional, wrote in my journal, and as I prepared to get ready for the morning and speak at church suddenly a wave of hot flash came over my whole body. Every time I moved my head it felt like I was beginning to spin and I was really dizzy. I felt nauseous. My whole body felt out of sorts. My breathing was shallow and gaspy. I began to pray and ask the Lord for help. I was flush with worry and fear that I wasnt going to make it. That I was going to fail my pastor. That I was going to fall over in the middle of it all. I went to the church. I asked for prayer multiple times. Then I let that message loose. I wasn’t afraid to speak this message, I just didn’t want to because it was so revealing of how my own heart functions when hooked up on control. It wasn’t until later – after the message was over – I realized that I think I had a panic attack and didn’t know it. For those who this message touched and God began a new work in – I am sure the enemy was going to do whatever it took to keep me from speaking it. On my way home I had a thought and immediately knew that it was a control hook up thought. I can finally see. I see what the idol of control is doing and I know what it is! That is a powerful gift from God.
So here’s the thing about the Idol of Control – control will have you exaggerating all your problems as being huge because everything is now a problem to be fixed. I talked about the harvest season being overwhelming and feeling left to deal with the mess myself, along with the rest of my life. Well that is not exactly true. All the produce has been dealt with. The rotting, stinking, bug attracting things got dealt with. It was just a long harvest process because of how good my hubby plants – so that we dont have everything at once. That would be a nightmare. Instead, we have it in phases and I am grateful because it really did all get taken care of. We worked together and got it done. There are lots of places in my life where I’ve felt overwhelmed and like I am left to do this alone but yet as I reflect now I can see all the helpers helping that I didnt notice before because control had me so narrow focused I couldnt see them.
Anyway, I get a little – ok more than a little out of sorts – whenever the task list at work and home is long and the dirt, outside vegetation, and nature get inside my house.
Im a book nerd not a naturalist. All though I did enjoy picking all the raspberries this summer.
What one of the 4 source idols is your KING OF THE MOUNTAIN. Is it POWER, COMFORT, APPROVAL, or is it CONTROL? How do each of the other source idols manifest for that king?
Thanks for listening,