My friend Elizabeth Turnage writes…
No, seriously…I am thinking about the profound and difficult story in Genesis 22, in which Abraham is called to sacrifice his firstborn son to God. About this story, Tim Keller says,
“God will identify our idols and ask us to give them up. Isaac had become an idol, even in the midst of all of Abraham’s faith and obedience. Isaac was more important to Abraham than God. Idols can be very subtle….All of us have our ‘Isaacs’ that God wants us to be at least willing to give up. Most idols are (like Isaac) good things that can remain in our lives once we have ‘demoted them’ to second place behind God. Then they won’t control us and bedevil us with anxiety, pride, anger, and drivenness…Idols are only safe for us to maintain in our lives when they have stopped being idols. That can only happen when we are truly willing to live without them, when we truly say from the heart: ‘Because I have God, I can live without you.'”
(Tim Keller, from Genesis Bible Study: What were we put in this world to do?)
Whatever your spiritual tradition, this season in the church calendar, celebrated by some as “Lent,” is a good time to consider prizes, possessions, progeny, and even purposes that may have taken on a life of their own.
What things have you come to believe you cannot live without? What things have you come subtly to think are more important than God?
Click on this link to read my story of believing my children belonged to me, and how God wrestled with me on this matter.