So if you weren't aware, my awesome husband Jimmy is releasing a new record called "Clear The Stage" in 5 days! This record is unbelievable musically and lyrically and is all I have been listening to lately. The album title comes from a song on the record also called Clear the Stage that was written by a friend of ours, Ross King (Check out his music here. And please buy his album "And All the Decorations Too." It is phenomenal lyrically.). This song has had a powerful effect on both of our lives and is one we regularly listen to as a way to check our hearts for idols. To give you an idea of the message of the song and this record, let me share a portion of the lyrics:
Anything I put before my God is an idol.
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol.
Anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol.
Anything that I give all my love is an idol.
We must not worship something that's not even worth it.
Clear the stage and make some space for the one who deserves it.
In anticipation of this record, Jimmy and I will be doing some "stage-clearing" in our own lives and will be blogging about it for the next five days until the record releases. We invite you to join us in this with hopes that we can give God the rightful place in our lives: center stage.
With that being said, it was a no brainer to decide what idol in my life needs to be dealt with first. People. I have a problem in that I am way too obsessed with what other people think of me. When I read through the lyrics posted above, "anything I can't stop thinking of is an idol," I am faced with the reality of how I idolize the approval of others. While I might say I am a generally confident person, I spend way to much of my thought life imagining what others might be thinking about me. I contemplate what my neighbor might think if I drive away without saying hello. Or what that woman at church might think if I have to ask for her name again for the 3rd time. Or what my friend will think if I forget to call her on her birthday. Way too often, these thoughts consume me.
The problem with being so preoccupied with my image to others is that it leaves little of my attention to be focused on God! In addition to that, these thoughts are simply a surfacing of my ever-recurring problem with the sin of pride. I may be thinking about others and what they think of me... but in the end, I am simply thinking of me! "What do they think of ME?" "How do I look?" "I want to make sure I don't look bad." I am way, way, way to concerned with myself.
So maybe a better title for this post is this: "Clearing the Stage of ME." Self-worship will probably always be the biggest threat to my true worship of God. I do seem to get in the way a lot. I've also noticed when God truly has center stage in my life and in my heart, I forget about myself all together in light of the greatness of who He is. The lyrics from Shane & Shane's song "Vision of You" come to mind: "Let the vision of You be the death of me."
Oh Lord, may that be true every day of my life. That I would daily choose to fix my eyes upon You and who You are in all Your glory so that all other idols melt away, including myself. By Your grace would You free me from the bondage of self-worship by being too concerned with what others think of me? Through the resurrection power of Your Son Jesus, bring freedom to me from this idolatry that You alone may be my sole focus and recipient of my worship. In the power and name of Jesus, Amen.
Check out Jimmy's blog for today on his facebook fan page.