This summer, I've been interning for the youth group at our church. It's been a BLAST!
These last two weeks, we have been discussing the life of Jonah and how he ran from the Lord. It's funny because I realize that I do the same thing. No, I don't hop in a boat and flee the country anytime the Lord calls me to do something; however, I do have other boats that I hop in that lead me to sin rather than run toward the Lord. Last Sunday, we asked our girls to identify some of the boats that they use to run from the Lord and it was really powerful.
This week, we discussed God's grace toward Jonah. Chapter two is Jonah's song to the Lord, his praise, and prayer.
Verse 6: To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
7 “When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”
The verse that hits me the most is verse 8: Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them. Who would be willing to turn from the Lord for some silly idol? I now realize that it's because of God's grace that we are able to turn from the idols and trust in the Creator of the Universe. It's because of His grace that we are given life and life to the fullest. It's because of His grace that I have another day to live and glorify Him.
I have been reading this book written by Jenna Lucado, called "Redefining Beautiful." The whole book is written so that young girls will realize what is holding them back from understanding that God sees them as 'beautiful.' It's such a powerful book and it made me realize that there are certain idols that we hold on to: vanity, fitness, etc. We convince ourselves that we are doing these things for all the right reasons...'oh, I workout all the time to remain healthy' or something to that nature. I am guilty of it. I know I am beautiful, the Lord sees me as truly beautiful and I am not willing to turn away from God's love over some silly idol, such as TV or sodas or fitness.
What are your idols? TV, the computer, fitness, vanity, your friends, yourself?
Once you have identified them, it's much easier to (step-by-step) hand them over to the Lord.