June 3, 2014

No Other God's thoughts

Cassie and I started the No Other Gods Bible study and it's something I'm really struggling with. I'm enjoying it, but it's really pushing my comfort zone right now. It's a study about idols, but let me first shatter your (mine too) old age thoughts on the typical biblical idol term. I typically think of an idol (in the Christian sense) as the golden calf, an inanimate object to worship, but it's so much more than that. Kelly Minter explains that we have a PROFESSED god and FUNCTIONAL gods. The difference is that a "PROFESSED god is who or what we say is our god"-for me it's God himself. "A FUNCTIONAL god is who or what actually operates as our god."(Minter, Kelly,  No Other Gods, pg. 15)

Some of my functional gods would be: Dave, the desire for a baby, tv, etc. Basically what a functional god is, is something you desire too much. Something or someone that takes the place of God. It doesn't mean I'm praying to these things or worshiping them, but it does mean that they are taking my focus away from God or taking the place of Him. Make sense?

Kelly Minter says it more eloquently and explains is so much better. "...It could also be something incredibly good that has only turned bad by virtue of how much it consumes you."

THAT is something I'm really trying to wrap my head around. How can these things that are good be bad? In the study we recently read 1 Samuel 1:1-28, and it hit too close to home. The gist is that Hannah was married, and her husband had another wife who provided him with lots of children. She was loved by her husband but still cried out to God to give her a child even though "the Lord had closed her womb." She was provoked by her husband's other wife because of her bareness and was sad for years and years. Eventually God did bless her with a child.

Right after reading Hannah's story Kelly Minter wrote, " The one thing we can always hold onto is that though He brings pain, it is always for our good." I'm struggling with this concept and have cried many times working through this and especially with identifying my own functional gods. What I have been working on is that:
  • Maybe it's not a punishment (losing our baby) at all but the fact that he loves me so incredibly much that he wants me to be HIS above all else. So hard to understand.
  • I haven't done a good to job lately of putting God above everything else.
  • I'm still angry, sad and so hurt that God would allow this kind of pain for me and Dave.
I pray that my heart is changed and that I find comfort in the fact that God loves me so much he wants me for Himself.

Joining in Cassie's In the Word Tuesday link up.

Is this concept of a functional god hard for you to accept too?

I wrote this last week and have been talking things out with my sweet friend Katie while she's been in town. I'm so thankful for such a godly woman in my life to tell me truth and talk things out with me. My point of view on things is starting to shift, ever so slowly, but I'm trying. It helped that she had me vocalize what I was feeling, telling her the WHYS behind my sadness and anger. It opened my eyes a bit.


  1. I love this. So proud of you for boldly sharing what you are experiencing and confronting your idols. god is doing big things in you!

  2. This is so good, Lauren. It's so big of you to even recognize that it's an idol for you and you're facing it head on. I know it's tough. God definitely wants good for you and Dave. Someday I think you'll look back and realize why you had to go through the crappy stuff!


I love hearing from you so please leave a comment, however keep in mind "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."