Monday, June 27, 2011



I've been thinking about the Ten Commandments recently – (not really, but don't you think we should once in awhile?)

Specifically, the first one.

"You must not have any other god but me."

Not a lot of wiggle room in there…

Personally, it's not a problem for me to worship only God – when I think about other gods like Molech, or Baal, or Buddha. I worship the One True God, the LORD. The One who was, and is, and is to come.

Yes, my worship is imperfect – I realize that. But it isn't directed at any other name under the sun than the Almighty God Jehovah.

Now, the problem occurs when I think about other "gods" – other things that can creep into my heart and replace HIS position at Number One.

Today, we can allow many things to become gods to us – money, fame, work, or pleasure. These can become gods when we concentrate too much on them. Take a good, hard, long look at where you turn for personal identity, meaning, and security anything other than God is idolatry.

No one really sets out with the intention of worshiping these things. But by the amount of time we devote to them, they can ultimately control our thoughts and energies.

They will subtly begin to replace God as the central focus of our hearts.

So, I'm posing this question…

Do we love God – or what He can do for us?

Most of us aren't – or at least we're trying – to not treat God as a heavenly vending machine. We aren't seeking to manipulate Him into only pleasing us. We sincerely want to do His will, and worship and please Him.

So, here's the second question I'm posing…

Do we love God – or what we can do for Him?

This is the more subtle question. Our enemy is so very sneaky – so very manipulative – so very twisted. He has unique temptations reserved for just us believers. He knows that he's lost us for eternity. So, his tactics take on a different aim.

He aims to re-direct our attention – to divert us – to sidetrack us with distractions.

And what better distraction than to consume us with the desire to do something for God?

Hear me out…

Because we love God, we want to serve Him. We want to fulfill our God-given purpose in life. We want to use our God-given skills and talents for His glory. We want to make a difference for Him.

All very good goals…

And yet – (and I'm just going to speak for me now) – I can get consumed with my "doing" for the Lord – or the lack of it – or the desire for it. I can get consumed with finding a *ministry* for Him – or bemoaning the lack of it – or obsessively desiring it – seeking it – trying desperately to make it happen.

And the devil has opened all sorts of dangerous cracks in my heart through this – being envious, being judgmental, being proud, being discouraged, being selfish, being discontent, being worried…

So, the other day, I thought about this first commandment again:

"You must not have any other god but me."

And I heard the question that God was really asking me the one that I keep hearing again and again – the one that I can't seem to escape…

"Sharon, is it really just Me?"

Do I really love God? Or have I been guilty of seeking what I can do for Him, instead of just seeking HIM?

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need." (Luke 12:31)

How did I hear God say this to me?

"Sharon, seek ME, above all else. Leave the rest up to Me. I will give you talents and skills, and opportunities to use them. I will give you meaning and purpose. I will bring you into areas of ministry. I'll show you ways to do things for Me. But, it's got to be Me, and only Me, that you seek more than anything in the world – even more than pleasing Me. Look for Me with your whole heart…and you will find Me."

Do we love God?

I want to love God – period.

I love God.

(Is this ever a struggle for you?)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Is this ever a struggle for me? What? Are you KIDDING? You just hit the nail on the head of a struggle that I had not been able to define.

    The fact that I can create an idol out of my own acts of worship or service is a cold slap of water but a true and convicting reality. And here I am just coming to grips with the fact that I had made my tears an idol. Boy, am I a mess.

    Is it really JUST ME, Debbie?

  2. "They will subtly begin to replace God as the central focus of our hearts..." This is such an important point because it happens slowly over time in this busy world. "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need." (Luke 12:31) What a huge gift...when we SEEK Him!

  3. Great post...I think about my own kids, they can do something to help me, but I also just enjoy being with them, when they aren't asking for anything, when they aren't helping me...when they are just being with enjoying each other. I need to remember that as I think about all the things that become number one instead of God...and I give too much time to those things.

    Great post.

  4. this was a good message.....made me think. thanks.

  5. Excellent exhortation to consider our ways. Yes, this is always a struggle. Seeking to serve - and serving with excellence is time intensive. I often feel closest to the Lord when I am in the process of creating - writing primarily - but I must always guard against the idol serving can become. Sometimes, the Lord puts me on the bench. I need some renewing one on one with my Coach - just to be with Him. Seeking such this summer. A good word - thanks for sharing, Sharon!
    Miss Kathy

  6. Hi Sharon,

    Yes, a struggle, you sure have hit the nail on the head, much to ponder in this blog. It is like sin, we see the obvious, sexual sin, murder, stealing etc etc, but we often don't recognise the little insidious ones that creep in.

    God Bless - Nita

  7. Sharon,
    This was so good. Went straight into my heart, and hit the bullseye. (Thanks for linking up.)

    I can't do it in my strength, though I want to. Here's what my heart said to the Lord after reading your post, which encouraged me through revealing my heart:

    "Oh, Lord, forgive me. Turn my focus and heart to You, and help me to stop running like the little mouse on a round treadmill, getting nowhere. Fill me with Yourself. Forgive me for thinking I can serve You, without You. Forgive me for wanting You only so that I can serve You better, more, and for any other end but Loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. You have to do even this. I humbly confess my complete inadequacy to do it."

  8. I'm with you on this, Sharon. I know what you are saying. I do pray at times "Lord, you are awesome just for who you are, no matter if you never answer another prayer of mine" and I do mean it, but then if I really meant it, would I continue to ask, ask, ask of him instead of just worship him for who he is? Same with the doing. Sometimes we do because we think that is what we are supposed to do but are we just doing it for us or for him? For me I know one of the gods I am continually worshipping is this darn computer and blogs. I know a lot of times God doesn't come first even though I say he does.

    very thought provoking and timely Sharon!!


  9. sorry, for some reason my last comment came through anonymously but it is really me :)


  10. Thank You Lord! It's ALL about YOU! I love You!
    May I SEEK You first always!

    Blessings Sharon, Thanks for this WORD and so wonderfully provoking thoughts and messages from Our Lord. Thank you for pointing out the "cracks" and asking questions that make us dig deeper and look deeper into our love of God. Casting off idols and humbly honoring the ONE who deserves ALL Glory, honor, thanks, praise and PLACE in our lives as we serve Him first...
    HE IS NUMBER ONE!!! Forgive me, Lord any time that I have not given You Your rightful place.

    American Idol sets up our entire society to idolize people when that belongs only to God. They really need a different title. Too many idols in this world, too many substitutes for the only One who should receive our worship and adoration. We need to FOCUS OUR FAITH and WORDS and ACTIONS on God,the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Worship Him. (above all else)

    "You must not have any other god but me."

    You itemized well all the many other "idols" but forgot the biggest one for most of us (though we don't mean it to and we think of it as ministry or serving) the COMPUTER... being online blogging. One us us admitted this... and I needed to before but have really learned to limit this and put God before this and so glad I did this before it consumed me, but this is the
    new idol... and what we serve in the name of God for many of us, when we are not "blogging" for Jesus yet ourselves...BLOG ONE ANOTHER hmmmmmm

    Yep, as always you spur us on with much inspiration and encouragement as we ponder and reflect. Thanks Sharon. WOW, you've been so busy this morning...thanks, even over at my place you do the same. Bless you Sharon!

    Love, peace and JOY,

  11. Wow Sharon - this part really hit home for me -

    "Sharon, seek ME, above all else. Leave the rest up to Me. I will give you talents and skills, and opportunities to use them. I will give you meaning and purpose. I will bring you into areas of ministry. I'll show you ways to do things for Me. But, it's got to be Me, and only Me, that you seek more than anything in the world – even more than pleasing Me. Look for Me with your whole heart…and you will find Me."

    Oh if I would only stop trying to take matters into my own hands!


  12. FYI..."old-timey treatment" IS a photographic technical term in my book. (-:
    I always enjoy your comments.

  13. This is such a good word!! I struggle at times to not run out ahead of God. I feel I should DO more. Yet when I ask Him what I should be doing He always responds with....What have I put into your hands? I know the answer every time and that four daughters. I am always at peace with that being the correct answer. They are grown adults starting their own lives away from me. Being there for them when they call and letting God speak through me to their needs is my current DOING something for Him. I am reminded that is a big mission field that He has called me to at this time in my life. So I rest in seeking Him and not what I can do for Him. He has assured me I am on the right path. God is so good!!!

    Thanks again for a good thought to reflect on!


  14. Hi Sharon -

    Indeed we all have our seasons of foolish and unwise choices. And we all have our seasons of inordinate affections...

    But we must do introspection and "get a grip" with our focus on GOD as our first love. Some days it is more challenging than others. But we must press on for the prize of the high calling of GOD in Christ Jesus.

    You expressed, "Look for Me with your whole heart…and you will find Me."

    Oh! Hallelujah - that is the winning ideal.

    May GOD help us all!

  15. I love how you tell it like it is with no sugar coating! You inspire me!

  16. Sharon - I think to - we have to determine what we put in front of God - that we don't think we do or that we are aware of!

  17. Debbie - But you're a mess that HE LOVES! Hey, we're in this thing together. Working toward the same goal - loving Him with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, with all our strength. It's Him...

    Anita - Loved the Scriptures you shared. Yes, it is a very subtle work that the enemy does in this area. I'm only becoming aware of it lately. And asking the Holy Spirit for the strength to fight this one. (I just KNEW "old-timey" was a technical term...)

    Janette - You're not alone. We ALL give too much time to too many things that don't really matter. God keeps trying to tell me to put Him first, then those other things can fall into line. This is the desire of my heart - He still has a lot of work to do!

    Nikki - Glad you liked this. I'll tell you the truth, this one came out of some deep thinking that I've been doing lately. Difficult thinking. I'm still trying to let go of things that hamper me from pursuing JUST Him in my life.

    Miss Kathy - Oh, how I love what you said. You captured it for me. Writing is definitely when I feel closest to the Lord, and He uses it mightily in my life. But sometimes, I'm always trying to think about what to DO with my writing. I need His help to be content with what He's doing IN ME through the writing. I liked the coach/sideline example you gave. I always love a word picture to visualize a concept. This one was right on!

    Nita - Yes, it's the little insidious ones that creep in. I'm reminded of the verse from Song of Solomon - it's the little foxes that spoil the vine. We have to be on the lookout for these more subtle attacks from the enemy. They are often just sins in disguise.

    Wendy - Perfect prayer. And thank you for adding that all-important ingredient. We can't do this alone or on our own. We must have the power of the Holy Spirit working in us - both to give us the desire and the strength to follow after God, only God. (I liked the image of the treadmill, Wendy. Yes, on our own we're only spinning our wheels...)

    Betty - Thank you for your honest comment. Thankfully, God listens to our prayers, and He understands our imperfect hearts. I think the ask, ask, ask isn't good when that's all we focus on. I'm trying to be more seek, seek, seek - and then, out of the seeking, ask. I'm glad that you were honest, too, and broached the subject of blogging. My goodness, God has had to do a HUGE work in my heart over my blogging priorities. It's not always been easy letting go. But, He is working in that, too.

    Keep reading for more responses...(pretty please??)

  18. Peggy - I really loved what you had to say. I especially like how you said there should be another name for American Idol. And then you used another word in your next sentence that I think is a PERFECT word - substitute. After all, isn't that really what an idol is? A faulty and paltry substitute for the REAL thing - God. And yes, God has done much work in me with blogging. It had become a consuming work. In the last few months, He has re-prioritized it for me. And I'm grateful that it has become more a way of worshiping Him, getting to know Him - that it is more about Him, than for me.

    Joan - Taking matters into my own hands. Hmm - I never do that. HA!! I think I am one of the worst meddlers in the world! Thank goodness that God's hands are bigger than mine, and they have been gently (and sometimes more strictly) teaching me to let go.

    Sue - First of all, WELCOME! It's such a pleasure to meet you, and thank you for joining me on the journey (it's my joy to also follow you). Yes, you hit the nail on the head for me. The BIGGEST thing that I have to give over to God is my two adult sons. It was so much easier in some ways, when they were home and sorta under my "control." Now, off on their own lives, it's so much harder to have faith in God's care and guidance of them. But, as you said, there is no bigger thing I can lay at His feet than those two boys. May He give me the strength to do that.

    Sandra - THE winning ideal! Loved that phrase. Yes, we all have "seasons of inordinate affections" (I just love how you express things) - and it's a challenge to work on those insidiously subtle weeds that start to grow roots in our hearts. May the Holy Spirit continue to uproot all things that would deter us from following completely after our Almighty Lord.

    Alisa - I wanted to sugar coat this one. But, it's just too close to home to not tell the truth. I am always inspired by your writing, Alisa. You are honest, and that is what I appreciate the most. May we learn together how to seek God with our whole hearts - even when we're writing about Him.

    Sandie - I like how you worded this - we have to DETERMINE what we put in front of God. Yes, there is an element of discernment in here. We must ask God to show us what we might be putting in front of Him. I think you're right - often times we don't even know. Then of course, we must DETERMINE (with an intentional act of will) to lay those things down, and return to full-hearted devotion to God.

    Thanks for wonderful input, my friends. May we all continue to seek Him, just Him, above all else. And may we never forget how much He loves us.



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)