1Kings 18:18-21, 26-29
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. 27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
You may or may not already know, but our house flooded twice in a 16 month period. We do not plan to move back into our home, ever. Last month, after reading 1 Kings 18 and meditating on a devotional about this passage on idol worship, God again asked me to step into deeper waters in what He is doing in my heart, through these floods and my house. Deeper waters.
A day or two after re-reading this, I awoke mid-conversation with God.
As I became conscious, on my lips was the sentence, “My house became an idol.”
I was acknowledging this to Him in my sleep and as I spoke it, He woke me so I’d have to admit it to myself.
I realized the way the worshipers of Baal threw themselves into worshiping and working so hard to get their god/idol to perform… we had done that with our house. We worked so hard for it, particularly after the flood. We were practicing idol worship. Initially, we did not willingly do so, but we allowed our circumstances to take hold of us and we practiced idol worship, regardless.
Its been five months since Hurricane Harvey. I had been making plans to remove, our clawfoot bathtub, my beautiful copper kitchen sink, and the chandeliers from our flooded house, with the intention of installing them in my future home.
Immediately following Hurricane Harvey, I had journaled these words (heard in my heart) from the Lord to me, “Will you leave it ALL in its watery grave and pursue ONLY ME?”
I’ve thought about that request a lot over the past five months. On the morning of the day I had scheduled to remove these items, the question again was raised in my heart. I prayed, “Lord, What do you mean by ALL? What about the clawfoot tub, beautiful copper sink, and chandelier?”
(In my gut, I was fairly sure, I knew the answer).😉
I told a friend about my questioning and Him telling me to leave it ALL in its watery grave.
She said, in a playful voice, “Well, not my beautiful sink and chandelier!”
As soon as she spoke those words, I heard the Lord say to me, “If I did not withhold my only Son for you, will you withhold a kitchen sink and a chandelier from me?”
Immediately, I spoke back to Him from my heart, “No, I will not. That is not my heart, Lord. Take it all! All I want is You.”
My clawfoot tub, copper sink, and chandelier will not be moving to my new house, because when God asks you to leave everything including the kitchen sink, for Him, the answer is, “Yes!”
Isaiah 33:22 “Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. (AND in my case COPPER SINKS) You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, ‘Good riddance!'”
I feel strangely free after making the decision to let Him have it all, including the kitchen sink. My begging and pleading for my idols to perform for me left me exhausted and empty. Once I let it go, He gave me joy in place of my emptiness. He satisfied my longing with His peace. I am looking forward to what He will do as He continues to work in my heart to set me free from idolatry. This is one step on a path that may not always be easy. I know He is faithful. I know He is good. He is my hope. I trust Him.