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Michelle Warner

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Worshiping Lesser Gods

Posted on September 14th, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom Well

This well serves a unique drink:
Words that refresh and cause you to think.

Recently I have been weeding through some of the old articles and papers I have stuffed in my desk drawers. I found this article written in the Discipleship Journal in 2002. Using my deduction skills, I can guess why I have this article: it’s probably because my dad copied it to encourage me since it was published the same year I was graduating from college  broken-hearted after my beloved husband ended our relationship. Oh, how glad I am for how God’s worked in our lives since! Anyway, I reread this article today and it ministered to me just as much as it probably did back then. I thought you would appreciate reading an excerpt and thinking about the insight the author raises.

“Children of Lesser Gods” by Lynne M. Thompson, from the Discipleship Journal, Issue #129, pages 25-28:

[The author begins the article by writing about a particular tragedy that hits her friend and shakes her view of God and states, "Tragedies can uncover what you really believe about God."]

“Throughout this season, I searched for meaning and tried to make sense out of what I believed to be senseless.

When I finally tried to summarize my feelings, I was surprised to find I felt betrated by God. I believed God was my best friend, yet it seemed He had stabbed me in the back. How could He allow this to happen to such good people–His people? Who was this God whom I worshiped each Sunday and prayed to and visited with all week long?

Then God whispered ever so softly, “It’s not me.”

In time, I learned that I had been worshiping the wrong god–actually gods. There were five of them. Each had embodied attributes I attempted to place on the one true God. Scripture eventually helped me recognize and refute those false gods. Today, though I sometimes struggle, I have embraced the great I AM. These are the lesser gods I left behind.

[She then lists and explains the following gods: the god who does things my way, the god who is harsh, the god who is apethetic and the god who is impotent. She ends with: the god who changes--the one that most resonated with my misconceptions of God.]

The god I struggled most to let go of–and sometimes still do–is the god who is forever changing. This god is here today and gone tomorrow. This god wants me to live my life in fear that he will someday take away all my blessings and joys. I think this god can do the most damage because his credibility is verified by disasters–both natural and man-made–in the physical world.

Accidents, diseases, and death enter our lives unexpectedly, attempting to shatter all hope. Wars will come, trials and tribulations are guaranteed, we seem powerless. This is a world of change. Oh, there are good changes too. We find someone to love and marry, we have children, we get a job, start a ministry, and point someone to Christ. Regardless, life on earth is volatile and constantly changing. Is it any wonder I expected the same from God?

The real God actually embodies what my soul longs for: constancy. In Hebrews 13:8 we read that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” His very nature is unchanging. He remains stable regardless of my circumstances–past, present or fugure. I therefore am able to move about confidently in changing times knowing that the Lord my God goes with me; He will never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). That’s the kind of God I need. Even when a crisis chips away at the foundation of my faith, my God stands unmoved, unshaken, and unchanged.

The false gods I’ve enthroned over the years gave me nothing but grief, so I sent them packing. Occasionally, they come by for a visit. Only through the truth of Scripture am I able to withstand their lies about who my God really is.

Today as I face life’s sorrows, I do so with the God whose ways are not my own, whose mission is to love and comfort me, who calls me tojoin Him in His best, who has enough power to make positive changes in my life, and who will stick with me and never leave me no matter what comes. He has promised me these things.

He is, as the Apostle Thomas proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”

To worship any other is futile.”

***

This article reminded me of a song my dear friend recently sent me. I heard this song early on in my cancer road and it was a good reminder to listen to it again and remember who God is.

“What Do I Know of Holy?” By Addison Road:

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

(CHORUS 2)
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life “its” name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

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