When I read in the bible about things people used to covet and idolize, it seems so obvious how dumb their behavior was. Let’s see, let’s melt down some gold, form it into a calf, put it on the shelf, pray to it, and wait for it to fulfill our lives. Woohoo! Ok, seems like something I’m pretty much never going to do, so check “covet” off my list. Not guilty.
Or am I?
Being truthful with myself and taking off the blinders about the golden calf, covet means “that which you spend most of your day thinking about”. Ok, GUILTY!! I was in a hurricane of covetous behavior over the last 10 days about a new business opportunity that came my way. My mind was racing about this business even during the night such that in the unfortunate circumstance that my daughter’s hamster’s wheel was squeaking at 3am or my dog heard a random inconsequential noise and let out a “save the world” bark and woke me up, I was doomed. I was awake for hours strategizing about how to capitalize on this business. This was going to fulfill my life!! I was going to be a millionaire in a week!!! After 7 days I was exhausted and after 10 I was desperate.
Now, knowing this definition of covet, “that which you spend most of your day… or night… thinking about” meant that in the sane part of my brain, I knew this obsessive strategizing was a problem. So I would pray about it during my morning prayer time asking God to help me let it go, but day over day, my prayers sounded a lot more like an aggressive volley in a Wimbledon match, “Dear God, please help me overcome… the strength in the compensation plan is… oh, overcome my covetous… the target market is huge… oh, my covetous…” and so on. I was trying hard and I was desiring to let it go, but I was getting nowhere. And all the while, everything I set out to do on this faith walk went by the wayside; my book and this blog. Why wasn’t the prayer helping?
After 10 days, the light finally went off… or on… in my brain. It was the way I was praying. I realized I needed to stand on scripture, not just ask for help. It’s a subtle but very important and powerful difference in prayer. I remembered that scripture tells us we have the authority to give God dominion over our thoughts. So I did. I gave Him control of my thoughts. Within a day the obsessing was gone and within two days He was feeding me ideas about how to efficiently maneuver this business opportunity… in a controlled fashion… and rejuvenating my desire to write for Him. And He will fulfill something in my life with this business as He sees fit.
Whatever you are primarily focusing on to fulfill you in life is your golden calf. It could be work or volunteering or your kids or party time or movies or movie stars or whatever. Whatever it is, you will find it to be more successful, or less distracting, or less an obsession, when you focus on God first and allow Him to maneuver it for you. Give Him dominion over your thoughts on it and watch His truth unfold in your life.