Here it is, as a teenage runaway, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused. Shockingly, the abuse did not start in the streets of Baltimore. The abuse grew in the chambers of my mind. This dark, mildewed dungeon, overflowed with self-hatred, and a lack of self-acceptance. Honestly, I would have given my life to be accepted by whomever, to compensate for the lack of my own self-approval. Imagine the lengths I went to gain, and maintain external approval.
God is calling me to compose, not the cute, picturesque, or socially acceptable, but the raw, ugly, and yes, stinky. The stink is synonymous with the horrendous aroma that embodies the events that cause shame and guilt. Shame and guilt are the ugly twins that keep addicts addicted, idolaters sacrificing, and the hurting in bondage. We circumvent the enemy when we let the stink out. To get where I like to be, in the inner court, as close as possible to the Holies of Holies, we have to get real with ourselves and with God.
Idolatry, was second nature. Faithfully, I sacrificed my flesh, mind, and essence to foreign gods in exchange for “love”, and acceptance. This is not strange to God. Unfortunately, idolatry has been on this earth almost as long as the earth itself. Ezekiel 16: 35-39, graphically reports the outcome for the “prostitute”. Many think of prostitution as a woman who sells her body for goods, and money on the street; however, God sees prostitution differently. When we sell ourselves, to false gods, for whatever they claim to offer, we are behaving in an idolatrous manner, thus selling our faith, love, and devotion to God for, you fill in the blank.
For instance, idolatry and prostitution, occurs when a believer makes their social media pages more important than the time they spend with God. Believer “A”, denies God to fit in at work, hoping for a promotion, not realizing that their promotion comes from God; this is idolatry and prostitution. Believer “B”, will not speak up for things that are important to God, for fear of losing friends or followers, which is idolatry and prostitution. To paint a clearer picture, prostitutes and idolaters, in a spiritual sense, sell themselves to often get what God freely gives.
Another example of idolatry and prostitution is when we place any person, object, status, thing, hobby, and the like above God. As the scripture clearly states, God abhors this behavior. In prostitution and idolatry, we are inadvertently saying, ” I trust you ____ to satisfy my deepest needs; the attention, love, and devotion that I would’ve given to God, I give to you!” Euphemistically, I was a professional in this regard, in both the natural and spiritual. So what do you do when you find yourself enslaved, trapped in idolatry, and prostitution?
Repent, and turn from the sin, even if it means losing followers, friends, status, employment, money, time, or sleep. At all cost, run to God from the gods that you may have created. Personally, my gods were: approval, acceptance, “love”, the unrelenting desire to be understood, FEAR, shame, guilt, money, and doubt. For the most part, our desires are pure and human, yet when the satisfaction of our desires becomes our God, a rapid spiritual adjustment needs to be made.
Why am I telling you this? Why does this even matter? You may go to church, pay tithes, and are generally “christian-like”, so why does it matter if you have idols? 2 Kings 23:24-25 explains, “24 In order to enforce the laws written in the book that the High Priest Hilkiah had found in the Temple, King Josiah removed from Jerusalem and the rest of Judah all the mediums and fortunetellers, and all the household gods, idols, and all other pagan objects of worship. 25 There had never been a king like him before, who served the Lord with all his heart, mind, and strength, obeying all the Law of Moses; nor has there been a king like him since.” The simple answer is, removing the idols: 1. Shows God that we love and revere Him, desiring Him above false gods 2. Gives God room to be God in our lives 3. Clearly demonstrates our devotion and faithfulness to Him.
Rest assured, Satan is not going to be elated by your decision, so expect warfare. The moment you make up your mind that you are going to tear down the altars in your life, established for sacrifice to false gods, Satan is going to launch a series of attacks. Suddenly, your children may begin to behave differently, crisis situations may arise, your spouse may begin to act strange, an increasingly unusual amount of attacks will knock on your door and come in.
Fear not! It is expected that trials will come, and have always been near, but may increase, as a result of your commitment to follow God more closely, and tear down idols. The word of God clearly depicts, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:13-14
Be glad, rejoice, and let the stink out!