What do you want most? Don’t take time to think about it. Just blurt it out loud right where you are.
Mine is joy. The thing I won’t most in the entire world is a life of joy. For me this means endless smiles, come what may, a home filled with silliness and laughter, seeing the world as a beautiful place to live despite all of its messiness and seeing people as ones made in the image of God.
This is my idol. And I’d be willing to bank that whatever you blurted out is yours.
Don’t hear me wrong, joy is a good thing, and so might be the thing you stated. A vacation in Hawaii, just a bit more money, that your kids will understand and know the grace and mercy of Jesus. That your family will be safe, that your next check up will show you as cancer-free, that your house would sell, that your contract would be renewed. That your crops would produce, that telemarketers would stop calling, that maybe, just maybe that annoying coworker would find a new job.
Good things. Yes. But not ultimate things.
I posed this question to my family the other day with no thought beyond wanting to hear what they had to say. “Boys, what do you want most?”
I heard things like to eat ice cream for dinner, to play video games whenever we want, and to not have to go to school anymore. (And we’re only one week in. Great.) Things that bring comfort, pleasure, ease.
What was meant to be a lighthearted question, my ever-loving, ever-thinking, always theologically sound husband turned into a heart check when he blurted out, “Good way to know what your idols are.”
Thanks, honey. I was totally in the mood to have my idols pointed out to me on this sunny afternoon.
Turns out he was right. Whatever we want most, above God himself, is an idol. Whatever we want to add to God, (I’ll take God plus financial stability, or God plus a healthy family) is an idol. Whatever we desire above that which is to be most desired, that’s where our hearts have failed us and an idol has crept in.
I know that God is the giver of all things and I believe with all my heart that in seeking Him first we will be the beneficiaries of our greatest joy. Joy beyond what my human mind can imagine. But so often I forget and I crave the things that He gives beyond simply craving Him.
The beauty of it? He knows. He forgives. He gives grace and shows us patience in our shortcomings. Though He demands perfection He knows it is unattainable for us on our own. It’s why He sent His son Jesus to die for us, to be our redeemer, to pay a price we couldn’t pay. How thankful I am for that today, knowing that idols will keep on creeping in and desires will sneak into a position they don’t deserve. He’s lived on this earth, walked our walk, knows the temptations we face and yet He did it without sin. That, my friends, is worthy of all praise.