When Our Offerings Become Idols

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Sometimes our altars to the Lord can become idols.

When I started this blog two years ago, it was an offering to my Creator. I moved past my fears of being judged and stepped out in faith. I tossed aside my stereotypes and prideful assumptions about blogging and embraced humility.

The more I shared truth and was vulnerable with my readers, the more I realized I wasn’t alone. My story was my testimony to God’s redemptive power.

Through his grace and love God used me to shine his light into dark places. The more authentic I was, the brighter the light became.

Dreams I didn’t know I had came alive. I connected to people across the globe and formed relationships with women who became sisters.

Something inside me awakened and for the first time in years, I felt God was using me to make a difference in this big, beautiful world.

But somewhere along the way, my vision was skewed. I heard the word “platform” for the first time. When I realized in the publishing world this concept is a big deal, I became obsessed with the numbers, comments, and likes. Anxiousness consumed me some days.

I wondered if I’d heard God wrong.

Then two weeks ago I attended a life changing conference. I was surrounded by women who sought God’s will for their lives and he showed me some of the ugly insecurities I’d allowed to take root in my heart.

When I returned, my computer died. My tool for pouring out words to each of you was gone, and despite the noise of a house filled with boys, I sensed God speak.

The gift can never become more important than the Giver.

I had become so focused on performance that the altar I’d built to the Lord was forgotten. Instead of offering up my words in an act of worship, I’d become a machine, thinking if I stopped to rest I would drown.

When the only words we write are the ones we share, we become depleted. This working out our salvation becomes about the audience instead of the Spirit.

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But the audience of readers cannot replace the audience of One.

So for the past two weeks, I’ve realigned my heart. I’ve journaled for the first time in months and found that space of quiet: just me and God.

It hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies and he’s shown me some dark places in myself.

But when we bring the dark spots to the Ultimate Light Giver, the real working out of our salvation begins. We can change, heal and grow.

So today, I come to you refreshed. I share not out of a need to perform, but out of a deep desire to share his grace.

Through our weaknesses, he’s able to do his most brilliant work. When we lay it all at his feet, his transforms those idols into testimonies of redemption.

 

 

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21 thoughts on “When Our Offerings Become Idols

  1. Thank you, Abby. Overwhelm is my word this morning. Even my prayer last night before my head hit the pillow was “Lord, help me see what is really important…what You really want me to do.” Your words…”Through our weaknesses, he is able to do his most brilliant work.” I needed that this morning. For my weaknesses are weighing heavy on my mind. I am thankful God called you to share with us. You are making a difference.

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    • Sabra, I’m so glad to hear it spoke to you. That is always my prayer. I think all writers who desire to follow the Lord struggle with this in some way. Praying for each of us. Love you, friend!

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  2. This was so needed today Abby! I have struggled with this whole platform thing. After receiving two acceptance emails to rejoice about, I then received a rejection email. Ready to quit writing as insecurity crept in, I prayed and realized by feeling insecure, I was making it about me. So I blogged about insecurity, and here you talk of it too. Glad we’re sisters, and He sure is using you to make a difference. Sheer Joy to see the fruit. Blessings to you, as He continues to give you the words that bring life.

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  3. Love this Abby. We are definitely on the same wave length. God is telling us both what’s important and what is not. I hear His voice through yours. Thank you for this special message from your phone! Love you.

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  4. Oh Abby, thank you for pouring out this truth. It is so convicting for me. I stepped away from the daily writing and blogging to shift focus to a project. But after attending She Speaks I just kept hearing God ask “are you doing this for me? Or for you?” The pouring out of my heart became work. And I wanted others approval.
    It’s still a struggle, I guess it always will be in some way. It’s the temptation that’s comes along with the service.
    Thank you for calling it out and letting the rest of us know we’re not alone.
    Hugs!

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  5. Abby,
    I think all of us, if we’re honest, have had to deal with our writing becoming an idol. I, too, started out by saying I was writing to an audience of One. As soon as the enemy sees we are doing a good thing, he begins questioning us about platforms, and statistics, and comments, etc. I’m so glad that the conference was helpful in getting things back into perspective. I think you are one of the best writers out there…be patient and let God work through you in His timing. I have found that when I get myself out of the way…then God really has room to work.
    Love you friend,
    Bev

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  6. Thank you Abby! I love reading your posts 🙂 I’m also a writer and speaker. I live in Nebraska. When God speaks to my heart about anything I have this aromatic tendency to go from his presence straight to the stage to share it with everyone. Because I’m excited. Because it is good and will bless their hearts too. I picture myself in front of an audience. And sometimes I feel an emptiness. It’s like I needed to not run off to the stage and instead linger with Him a little longer. Possibly it’s all about me… ” Gee thanks God for giving me something to share.” In all of this struggle the enemy would love to us be silent. Let us not stop speaking in His name. If I waited till my motives were complete pure I would never do anything. Let’s receive His grace on these matters! Would love to connect with you Sister at lostwithouthim.org.

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  7. Oh Abby, this made me smile. And I had to laugh when I read that your computer has been broken for two weeks. Because, of course!! That’s the perfect example of our frustrations being gifts in disguise!

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  8. Have pinned this one so I always have it… there’s no getting around how much your words reflect the struggle that burbles up every now and then and taunts with shame… but your words, Abby, are pure Grace 🙂 So stinkin’ thankful for you. xxoo

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  9. “The gift can never become more important than the Giver.” Amen, Abby! So glad that God used the detour in time and purpose to refresh you and renew your perspective. We are certainly blessed as a result. Love you and your words!

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  10. Read this several days ago. A “comment” flitted in my mind, but it took until today for it to land on this page. 😉 It’s a refreshing post, Abby. Refreshing for you, refreshing for the reader as well. Your words give permission to those of us who are focused on more than an audience of One, to those of us who are running around everywhere but not often enough into the arms of the One who can protect, love, and guide us. I love the breath of His fresh air that’s coming from you. #writeonJesusgirl but even more so #runintothearmsofJesus

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