Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?" He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say,
"Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"
Several years ago as I was reading Isaiah 44, I was struck by a question God asked. The chapter begins with God talking to Israel, His Chosen people. He encourages them by reminding them that He is God and there is no one like Him. As the chapter continues, God begins to talk about those who make idols...creating gods out of things they have made with their own hands. He points out that they take trees and use part of them for firewood to keep warm; they use part of it to cook their food; and then, with what is left they form a god and worship it. This same material that warms their bodies, they then bow down to and say, "save me, you are my god." (vs. 17)
As I began to ponder, I realized that there are many things in our lives that we turn into idols. Sometimes it can be a seemingly trivial thing, like watching too much TV or spending too much time on the computer; maybe it is fashion or careers. It can even be mistakes we have made in our past...things we just can't seem to let go. Anything we put before God becomes an idol. Mine was a lie....a lie I had believed for a very long time....
"I'm just not good enough!"
You see, I have never had a lot of confidence; not in myself, not in my abilities. I knew there were things I loved to do; things I wanted to do; even things I was already doing. But I never felt like I was good enough. I never felt like I quite measured up to the expectations of others. When I got to that line in verse 20 "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?" I heard God say..."You are believing a lie....and you have made it an idol." I spent so much time worrying what others thought of me and my abilities, that it had pushed God out of first place in my life.
I have a date beside this chapter in my Bible...
The date God said,
"Let go of the lie!"
The date I decided,
"It's a lie! I am good enough!"
December 3, 2002
We all have gifts and abilities in different areas that have been bestowed upon us by God. He created each one of us uniquely to accomplish those things He has set before us. Our giftings and our callings are indeed from God and "God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29). I decided then that I no longer needed the approval of others. All God expected of me was my best....and my best is good enough for Him.
I think the reason this is all coming back to my mind is because I find myself contemplating my life a lot lately. In 25 days I will be 50 years old! (I just had a small anxiety attack!) And I have discovered that if I am not careful...the old lie resurfaces. The enemy,"the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray" (Revelation 12:9) would love to convince me that I have failed and that I'm done.
I was reminded by my dear friend Janet, that I have indeed been busy these last 50 years...
- Married for 27 years
- Raised (and still raising) five children
- Ministry opportunities in the church
- "Sweet Tea:Finding Divine Goodness in an Ordinary Life"
There are still things that I want to do that I just don't see ever having the opportunity. I still have dreams that haven't been fulfilled. I have wondered if I shouldn't have done more or accomplished more by now. And then there is the question..."Am I done?"
But I have decided that I'm not done! I still have a purpose and a calling. I still have children at home; still homeschooling. I now have a granddaughter to cherish. I still love to lift my voice and sing praise to Him. I still want to teach and encourage others....and who knows, I may have another book in me! All God expects of me is my best...and my best is good enough for Him!
Are you holding onto a lie? Has the enemy convinced you that you have no purpose? No future? No hope? Have you created an idol out of something in your life? Something that has purpose and importance, but perhaps you have given it too much credence in your life?
Ask yourself, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?" then let it go....Not only is it extra baggage you are carrying, but it will free up that hand to accomplish that which He has set before you.