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Idolatry: anything that diverts my attention

I’ve been recently working on differentiating the Source of my abundance, from the channels which Source might use to bring me abundance.

For many years, I held my company and the income I earned from my company as being my source of income, until that moment I began to understand that Source and channel are not the same things! I was challenged to take my eyes off my company (and my own abilities) of being my source of income, and start focusing on the Source of All Goodness, rather than on the channels through which I am blessed.

I thought – mistakenly – that I was making good headway with this lesson.

This week, after a few tough months, financially things were improving, and then I started to hit bigger runs, gaining momentum. And I suddenly found my thoughts turning to how well I was doing at creating income and abundance.

Oh, wow, look at that – how “me” has crept back into my view again! No longer connecting Source with my abundance, but starting to look once more to my own efforts and work.

What am I focusing my attention on?

What idols do we fall for?

Conservative Christians can be quick to accuse Catholics of Mariolatry – “worshipping Mary”, and are quick to point to all the imagery and statues of saints.

But there can be an equally strong argument that fundamental Christians fall into Bibliolatry – elevating the Bible to the point that it is equal with God. Possibly, because we reach a point that studying the Bible is more important than developing a personal and intimate relationship with the Creator. Of course, this assumes that the Bible gives us all the information we need to daily live our lives, rather than any need to listen to Spirit.

Other potential idols, even when we are wary to Bibliolatry can creep into our lives. Henri Nouwen once said that the main obstacle to loving God is service for God. Are you so focused on doing that you have forgotten about being a God-child? Which service or program are you so caught up in that you have forgotten that the most important thing is you listening to the still, small voice?

Closely tied to the idol of service for God is an overarching focus on results. We talk about us and what we are accomplishing and achieving. All the ways that we are working out our salvation and what we are doing for others in our community. But once again – we’ve gotten lost in doing.

Equally, we see leaders stepping into roles because they feel needed. Or perhaps they need to be in control, in order to fulfil an inner sense of lack or emptiness. Once again, it turns into an ego response.

On another level, entirely, we often find church members or Christians worshipping their leaders and everything that they say. Rather than allowing Spirit to guide their interpretation or application of how to live, another man’s (or woman’s) interpretation is applied in their lives, with no questioning or conscience. No openness to listen to Divine Love.

Practising the Presence

I don’t care how you want to refer to the Universe, God, Divine Love or any other name that you want to give Light and Love that permeates all that is – the All-Knowing, All-Sensing, All-Beingness of Life.

And once you have begun to practice the Presence of the Divine in your life – what diverts your attention? What things in life start to take more importance than the Divine in how you practice living life?

Most often, for me, it’s the need to have control. So, for example, I sit in silence, laying down my problems – offering them on the altar, so to speak – and I get an answer. “This is the next step forward.”

And away I go, and take that next step forward, and then – instead of returning to the silence to find out what my next step is – I proceed to sit down and create an action plan. I add things to my schedule. And I take over full control of all the next steps.

Until I realise that I made a mistake, and return in shame to the silence, because I’ve messed up.

Somehow, my need to control everything becomes my idol. Rather than being willing to live in the uncertainty of “WAIT” I fill up the time and days with doing! And I forget to simply practice the presence of the Divine in my life.

For Christians, those of the Jewish faith and Islam, the worship of I AM takes on a special meaning of no idols – no “something” or “someone” that can be worshipped other than God itself. The typical definitions of idol worship relate to the creation of a statue – such as we find in the story of Exodus and the golden calf.

But in my life – it can be so much more than that!

Anything to which we attach our confidence, our loyalty or devotion, or anything we get completely wrapped up in, can become an idol. So – even if we get wrapped up in our problems, we are potentially creating an idol. If I get wrapped up in controlling everything, rather than living in faith and flow, that has become my idol.

When I limit my definition of “idols” to statues, golden calves, leaders or mythical creatures, I am easily blinded to all of the other idols that I so easily serve!

Who is God, where is god, what is god, when is god, why is god, god made man in his image, man makes god in man's image

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