August 8, 2012

Names of God: Living God

VS.
 
God has many names in the Bible, but maybe none so convicting as “Living God.”

Why?

Here’s what Ann Spangler* has to say about the name: “This title sets Israel’s God apart from the false gods of the surrounding nations. Unlike idols of wood and stone, made by human hands, the Living God is himself the Maker of heaven and earth. He alone is the source of our life.”

Wow.

Sometimes, I can get a feeling of superiority that I don’t worship idols. A sense of pride can creep up in my heart, because I don’t bow down to things made of wood and stone.

Yeah, and then my conscience burns.

Because in my pride, God starts to prod me. I start to wonder…what if there are other idols, ones not necessarily made of wood and stone, but things I’m bowing down to all the same? Things I’m building my life around. Things I’m trusting in.

Like my dreams.

Or money.

Or even…gulp…myself.

Yep, then I definitely go down a few notches in my own mind.

Because I don’t always act like He’s the Living God.

I don’t always bow down to Him. Instead, I shake my fists when He makes a decision I don’t like.

I don’t always build my life around Him. Instead, I get so caught up in my goals, what I want, the trappings of this world…that I just kind of change directions…and forget.

And I don’t always trust Him. Instead, I trust in the things that I can see. The things right in front of me. My own abilities.

Even though those things have clearly failed. Every. Single. Time.

But God is merciful. He knows we would struggle with these things sometimes. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit—to speak to our conscience, make it burn, and give us a passion for living for Him.

The Living God.

Your Turn: When you hear “idol,” what comes to mind? When have you seen God’s mercy? When has He been the Living God in your life?

*In her book Praying the Names of God
*Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

19 comments:

  1. Lindsay,

    Beautiful post. My idol = MY time. Because I seem to think that I own it. I want my time to do the things I want to do... wait. I guess that makes me (I want) the idol.

    Back to the throne I go. At least I know I won't be alone there.:-)

    The best part? God ALWAYS had time for me. The Living God, in His mercy and love, ALWAYS has time for me.

    Blessings,
    Becky

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    1. I definitely struggle with this too, Becky! Remembering that he can multiply my time is a huge deal.

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  2. I love this post and I smiled because tonight I'm teaching on Daniel and the Living God! I get goosebumps every time I think of Him as such. Alive. Powerful. Breathing.

    Awesome post! And yes, I've had idols in my life--things I put before God and I've had Him dash those idols to pieces. I thank Him for it every day!

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    1. So cool that you're teaching tonight! I'm sure you're awesome and that God will really use you.

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  3. He is so merciful.

    You are honest and this is awesome. Only helpful. I fight the temptation to worship idols every second.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. It's sometimes a constant battle, isn't it?

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  4. God has been showing me the idol I've created with my dreams. It's not a wooden idol, or one made of stone, but I've made it with my own hands, nonetheless. After I had a major head-on collision with this realization, he's brought me back to seeing that this dream is first and foremost his. Instead of "bowing down" to the dream, I bow down to Him and He brings the dream into reality. "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

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    1. Dreams...that's a big one I struggle with too, Gabe. Love that verse!

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  5. God has been really working on me for the last 5 years. I didn't always want to follow...yeah, the idols come in....but I seek Him first, and all else follows.

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    1. You're so right, Loree. If we seek Him, our dreams will become his.

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  6. Sometimes when I hear the word idol, I think of the Charleton Heston movie version of The Ten Commandments and the Israelites building an idol at the end and how, as a kid, I'd always think "They're such idiots!!" But your post is so true. I'm so like the Israelites--one moment seeing the amazingness of God, the next building myself or my dreams or my schedule up in my mind as more important. Ridiculous. Great reminders here, Linds!

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  7. This is such a great reminder, Linds! I think sometimes I feel like I'm in safe ground so long as I'm doing good things, but time and again, God convicts me that even perfectionism can take my focus off where it needs to be, on Him.

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    1. Even perfectionism can become an idol, can't it?

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  8. I cringe when I think of the word idol because attaching that title means the person or thing has replaced God as the One we worship. I'm so very thankful that we have a living, breathing, loving God, not a stone idol with a vacant stare.

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    1. I'm so incredibly grateful for that, too!

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  9. Very convicting, Lindsay! I'm so thankful for a God who lets us experience His presence. If only we'd take the time to do it daily.

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