(the first post in this series is here: On Being a Social Outcast )
At the bottom of this post is a link to the next one.
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I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.
These are the verses I’m totally laser-focused on right now. I am doing my level best to live by them. Suddenly I can see their profound meaning for our current times – as clear… as… day. To put it mildly, the rewards for making God my main man, are astonishingly miraculous.
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HOW MANY OF THESE THINGS DO YOU RECOGNIZE IN YOURSELF?
Because I no longer use these things; I go to God with as much of me as I can to reach 100%…
–Alcohol… (34 yrs)
–Caffeine… (6 yrs)
–Cigarettes… (1 yr)
–Junk food… (2 yrs)
–Diet soda… (10 yrs)
I try my best to no longer obsess over…
–Perfectionistic blog writing;
–Ruminating (especially negative ruminating);
–Over-sleeping or not allowing myself to get enough sleep;
…..Ingratiating myself to people or using them in one way or another, to feel better;
…..Blaming my husband or myself for every little imperfection or mistake;
…..Worrying about what other people think of me;
…..Victim thinking. Feeling sorry for myself and my ‘lousy’ lot in life because of having to endure such severe use and abuse as a child;
–Hating myself for the following;
….. Being a lousy cook and housekeeper;
….. All the mistakes I’ve made in my past;
….. Being 50 pounds over-weight;
….. My facial features,
….. Being naturally sedentary;
….. Finding all vegetables and other healthy foods distasteful;
….. Not reading my Bible ‘enough'(?) or not praying ‘enough(?);
….. Not being able to have authentic and genuine feelings for people, especially those in pain. Only be able to pretend I have empathy with them – including so many lives lost from 9/11;
….. Not being able to love my two adorable puppies.
….. Not having made more of my life than I have and feel like my life counted for nothing;
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These are many (but not all) of the behaviors I have been doing obsessively, and several addictive substances I have used to gross excess.
All of these are current day ‘idols’. By practicing them I am building a wall between me and my Creator who is just trying to bring me as close to Him as is possible. The closer to Him I am, the more room He has in my heart and head to grow me and make me better so that I’m more able to endure life on this sin-choked planet with the least amount of pain and the most amount of pleasure possible. The closer I am attached to Him, the more healing He can do on me.
Since I’ve begun to practice Exo. 20:2-4 with vehemence, I sense His healing power working in me, maximized by a million. I am a miracle in the making and I can’t help but see this. I used to be a total wreck with a huge obsession to commit suicide every minute I was awake. I went to bed at a ridiculously early hour (sometimes 3 or 4pm) just so I wouldn’t have to face my mind any longer than was absolutely necessary. I ran from everything in life and in me, as fast as my little feet could carry me.
If, for me, it’s an addictive substance, I have dropped it completely. If it’s an obsessive behavior, I am (with Gods humongous help) doing my utmost to quit practicing it, or to practice it in moderation. If I discover I’m beginning to use it, or do it, to feel better… instead of going directly to God… it goes out with the garbage. But even God, because He Loves me that much… is being my garbage man…. taking the crap out to the trash-heap… Himself.
Most days, and for the first time in my life, I live with some joy in my heart. Because living is now a thousand times easier than it used to be. If this is what I receive from making Him first, then I just want more and more of it. He makes me feel warm all over. He has so much He wants to teach me in His life-class, I’m sitting in the front row and grabbing onto all the knowledge He presents. (per: Jeremiah 33:3)
Is this a miracle – or what?!
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What are some your ‘idols’? Now, as you read through this list, are you feeling somewhat guilty because you know you’re still practicing some of them (or maybe some other things?) Do you know in your heart that what you’re doing is not good for you? Please use the comment section below to tell me about them. Then think about them yourself.
Then………Ask God to give you the strength and ability to…
STOP DOING THEM!! OR DO THEM IN MODERATION!!
Keep asking Him to help you do this. Ask Him over… and over… and over.. every day. When He knows you’re ready He will gladly give your heart-wish to you. I asked Him for this for 30 years. This year it’s finally happening. It took so long because it’s a rugged ride and takes a lot of inner stamina to do it. Stamina that, up to this time, I apparently didn’t have enough of. Removing all addictions/obsessions is as strenuous as climbing Mount Everest. God knew I wasn’t strong enough… until now.
In the beginning it was uncomfortable not to be doing them. I allowed for a lot of help from organizations like AA and OA and from several therapists. Take it from me. From somebody who’s been there (many, many times) and done that.The last few months have been a holy bitch !!! It is like climbing the tallest peak on the planet. It requires more stamina and strength than I could have ever imagined. But now that I’m (I hope) close to the summit, I now have a wonderful, wonderful view of the land all around me. I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s like here. I’m very, very, very glad to be finally rid these burdens and be able to spend more of my time… walking and talking… with my mighty and oh-so-precious and adoring God.
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The next post in this series is here: How To Get Deep Inner Healing For A Negative Emotion