August 16, 2011

What's in Your Hand?

The bottom line is that desires are not wrong. It's when we allow them to control us that they become idols, and then they manifest themselves in sinful patterns and addictions in our life.

For instance, most singles I know desire marriage. Or maybe you desire to have ultra smart kids who have perfect manners (which is a bit comical), or to in perfect shape, or to be safe, or to have money in the bank and never worry about paying bills... on and on it goes. And there's nothing wrong with any of those things. There's nothing sinful for wanting marriage, because in many ways, you were designed for it. There's nothing wrong for wanting money. I don't know about you, but if some one's offering some cash, I'll take it. I've got debts to pay off people.

The best illustration I heard on this was to think of those desires as things in your hands. But after time passes by, we slowly close our hands around them. When that happens we're essentially telling God, "This is no longer negotiable. I must have it." That's when that perfectly innocent desire becomes an idol, and we give it an unbelievable amount of power. And the funny thing is, we still want God to be active and working in our life, but we don't want Him to mess with our other idols. We turn Him into a waiter of sorts who exists to give us what we want when we want, and we forget that He is the master and we are the servant. This may be why so many of us don't have a passionate relationship for God. Because in the back of our minds we know, that if we were to get close to God, He'd address those close-handed things. Which He will. Because idolatry drives you from true intimacy with Him.

If you want deep intimacy with God, He will eventually uproot your idols. He will mess with you. But it's all for your greater good. He's after your joy even more than you or I want. And I know it doesn't fell good, and at times it feels like your in wrestling match, or have been abandoned, but trust me on this, He loves you, and He knows what's best for you.

David Powilson, offers these questions to uncover what may be an idol in your heart, which I thought we're great...
  1. What am I most afraid of?
  2. What do I long for passionately?
  3. What do I run to for comfort?
  4. What do I complain about the most?
  5. What angers me the most?
  6. What makes me the happiest?
  7. How do I explain myself to others?
  8. What has caused me to be angry with God?
  9. What do I brag about?
  10. What do I want to control?
  11. What comfort do I treasure the most?
  12. Whose approval to I seek?
  13. If I could change one thing in my life, what would it be?
  14. Who do I sacrifice the most for in my life?
  15. What do I want to have more than anything else?


  1. great post! it's sounds so simple, but it's so incredibly hard to open up my hand!

  2. I took like 7 minutes and answered those questions. Number 12 was the hardest; it's just silly in light of our approval before God because of Jesus. But all that's easier said than done,I need my hand opened.

  3. Those are some great questions. I might do them daily :)
    I want Him to be my Savior AND Lord.

  4. Brian and I have been teaching the youth group about this (and learning a lot ourselves!) Would it be ok with you if I share this on the youth group blog and facebook? Or better yet, would you like to re:write it as a guest post for the youth group blog?

  5. Such hard and honest questions. I was reading something similar about this on another blog, about keeping the hand open so as not to have it become the idol. Knowing that whatever passes through the open hand may or may not stay, depending on what God has planned for that 'thing, person or whatever'.

    You hit it right on the head w/this! :)

    Emily w/Amazing Grapes

  6. hmmmm.
    great post, natalie!
    lots to think on.
    good stuff.

  7. Love this post Natalie. Thanks for the reminder not to cling to tightly to all of the "stuff" we think is so important. Great questions to ponder as well.

  8. this was so beautiful & helpful.
    thanks, lovely. if your blog was a facebook status, i would like it.

  9. youve had so many great posts lately!! i love: " He's after your joy even more than you or I want."


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