When You Can't Stop Thinking of Someone
Once when I sought God about whether He wanted me to go on a missions trip or not, I found that God's answer was wait. Why? Because He knew that my motive for going was a boy. I didn't even know that I was idolizing him, but once I slowed down enough to listen to God's examination of my heart, there that boy was, sitting on the throne.
As the song says, "Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol." At first, this seems a bit harsh. It's just a song; that doesn't mean it's biblical, right? These questions went through my mind once or twice as well, but Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37, emphasis added). I couldn't stop thinking about this boy, so I knew I definitely had a serious problem with idolatry.
As the song also says, "Tell your friends that this is where the party ends—until you're broken for your sins you can't be social." Did that really mean I had to stay home from the mission trip? I wasn't sure at the time, but I did know that motives mattered to God- "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7). If I wanted to be like God, I needed to take my motives seriously, too, even if it did end up meaning I had to stay home.
And so the journey began. I had to figure out how get rid of this idol somehow. I had to find a way to control my thoughts. At first, I did what I thought was best and took the whole "Tell your friends that this is where the party ends" thing to the extreme. I thought that it'd be best if I stayed away from him for a while . . . but it wasn't long until I figured out that that wasn't going to work. Because we attended the same church and had many mutual friends, he was almost everywhere I went.
I became frustrated and didn't know what to do, but then I had a little "episode" with God one Sunday morning. God's Spirit spoke to my heart saying, "You need to stop running from him and instead, run to Me for help."
To be clear, if that boy were intentionally tempting me, it would be good to run away just as Joseph ran from the queen. But because it was my own thoughts that were tempting me, I needed to let God deal with my thoughts, not with the boy.
Friends, this is one of the most valuable habits you can learn in your walk with God! Place matters in God's hands, relying completely on His strength and wisdom. This is one of the reasons Jesus died for us! He knew we didn't have the strength to battle our sin nature on our own, so He took our punishment and sent the Holy Spirit to help us!
In return, we need to learn to be faithful in confessing our weakness and running to Him for help. When you rely on the Spirit, you catch a glimpse of who God is. Your heart realizes that He is everything that you need. Whether it's idolatry or a bad attitude, no matter the sin, when you rely on God's strength, change happens.
Would you watch the video at the beginning of this post again? This time, pray first. Ask God to show you anything in your life that you can't stop thinking of that is an idol. And then instead of trying to fix it yourself, run fast toward Jesus with it confessing your idolatry and asking for His help to overcome.
Note: This post was written by guest blogger Deanna Martin.