1. to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
2. to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.
3. to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding: to sanctify a vow.
4. to entitle to reverence or respect.
5. to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing.
And though we laugh about how all-consuming, all-encompassing Facebook can become... this week, I've been forced to honestly examine where it is in my life and where it should be. What I truly used to accomplish with my time and what I do with it now.
Some time ago, I started the Kelly Minter study "No Other Gods". And, let me tell you - it is an amazing study. Not necessarily in the depth of the matter or the level of intensity. It's just awesome in its simplicity. Poignant. Direct. Clear. Convicting. At least for me.
Minter starts us off by having us compare the difference between a 'professed god - who or what we say our god is' and a 'functional god - who or what actually opertates as our god.' I, for example, profess my Heavenly Father as my God. BUT, these days, can I honestly say that He is the One I turn to? spend time with? seek and honor? first and foremost? above all others?
... ahem... no. Ashamedly, I must admit my answer is "No". So many times, He gets my left-overs at best and then I wonder why He feels so distant.
Minter also points out that often times, many of "our false gods can be made of things that are in and of themselves perfectly good; they only become a problem when they take the place of God." An AMAZING example of this that she provides is that of the Israelites. In Exodus, the Lord "caused the Egyptians to look favorably upon the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. SO, like a victorious army, they plundered the Egyptians." (Ex. 12:36) Within this plunder were "articles of silver and gold". (Ex. 12:35)
However, we read just a while later that, the Israelites, in getting tired and restless waiting for the return of their leader and liason to God - Moses, decided that they should "make some gods who can lead (them)." They simply concluded that Moses must have "disappeared" and in their haste decided it best just to "take off their gold earrings... take the gold, melt it down, mold it and tool it into the shape of a calf." (Ex. 32:1-4) And next thing you know, they are exclaiming "O, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!"
Silly Israelites. Don't they ever learn??
Oh, wait. I'm just like them ... Ouch. Have I not taken the very gifts I've been blessed with from God and put them in the place of Him? Am I, too not guilty of giving up on Him, assuming He has just simply disappeared and find myself turning to the people and things that He has so graciously given to me? ...Why yes, I'm afraid so.
All of this to say... my church is going into a time of fasting starting tomorrow. It is the 21-day Daniel fast. However, considering my most recent health matters and the fact that I don't ingest much more than crackers and water on a regular basis anyway... I have decided to fast from Facebook. For the entire 21 days.
This may sound ridiculous. But, I think it's the best time and best way to get my priorities back to where they need to be. God has been SOOO gracious to me, allowing me the chance to re-connect with some sweet people and connecting even more deeply with those I truly cherish. It has provided such rich opportunity and sweet relationships... however, isn't that the whole point of fasting? To give up what is rich and sweet in our lives and look for those same qualitites from Him? So, this is what I plan to do.
I say this not to draw attention to myself and my sacrifice. But, rather Him and His sacrifice for me. And to be held accountable. (And to let those on Facebook know not to worry about me! I'm still here!! And will be back to
stalk check back in on them February 2nd.) : )
So, y'all just go ahead and beat my high game scores and tag me in all kinds of crazy pictures. Just remember what they say about paybacks and be on the lookout for more blog posts in the meantime!!
(... and now, back to FINISH my Kelly Minter study...)