Monday, March 10, 2008

More of Him

This post would be appropriate for "Him In My Life" or "Scripture Speaks!"

Last week Jesus helped me break free from an idol I have been struggling with for a couple of years. I have a weakness for video games, and this one was the worst! Most games have an end…sort of like novels. When I start a book, it’s very difficult for me to do anything but read until it’s finished. For this reason, I only read a few novels a year. Well, this video game had no end in sight. It is a huge online, multiplayer game that is very addictive and always changing. It is also a live game where you interact with people all over the world, so even if you beat it, there is plenty of motivation to start over with a new character and do it all again.

A year ago, it wasn’t unusual for me to play 12 hours a day or more, and I knew many others who did the same. I could justify it, because my health was so bad there was little else I felt like doing. It took my mind off of my illness, especially at night when I couldn’t sleep. I knew it wasn’t healthy and tried to quit several times. This last year I finally got to the place I would only play once in a great while, like if I had insomnia or more trouble than usual with pain. Still, when I would play I didn’t like how the game would take over my mind – it was all I could think about it, I neglected my duties as a wife and mother, and it even plagued my dreams. I guess it was similar to binge drinking! Crazy, huh? Anyway, I had prayed many times, tried to impose various rules on myself, nothing worked.

The Lord kept bringing to mind scripture about God’s people and idol worship:

But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire…The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Deut. 7:5, 25

We know a carved piece of wood or metal is not evil of itself. Neither is this video game. Lots of people play without showing any signs of addiction, and that’s fine. It isn’t an idol for them. An idol is anything that you put before God – it can be a hobby, money, TV, even another person! If it is taking time from the Lord and your duties or drawing you into sin, it is an idol.

God told his people to destroy all signs of idol worship, so that it wouldn’t be a snare to them. They couldn’t keep any of the idols for a house decoration or a keepsake or use the groves for something else. They had to completely get rid of all traces. Jesus showed me I needed to stop trying to play the game once in awhile and completely give it up…get it totally out of my life. Eliminate the temptation. That’s what I did last week. I deleted the characters in the game that I had poured hundreds of hours into. I cried. It was hard, as they were very dear to me. But I told Jesus He was worth it, and so He is! No more fighting, losing my peace and risking my soul.

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... said...

congratulations! i know that must have been hard. i have some of the same tendencies so i know how addictive the games can get.

remember phillipians 4:13... i can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

Karla Cook @ Roads to Everywhere said...

Wow! I came over to admire your new color scheme... which I love! Good job!

What a powerful post. I can imagine how hard that must have been. But He is worth it, isn't He? I'll be praying for you. (I do already!)

Unknown said...

Farrah, thank you so much for sharing this. You are so right in saying that an idol is anything that takes the place of God in our lives. He ALONE deserves first place!

Thank you for sharing something so personal and profound.

A Romantic Porch said...

Farrah, How dear. I know Jesus will give you strength by putting him first. Thank you so much for sharing. xoRachel