An Unholy Sanctuary

Thursday, February 07, 2013 Posted by Debbie Legg

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I have carried my sanctuary with me my whole life.  It’s a place I call Debbieland.  There, everyone loves me.  Everyone gets along.  I always say and do the right things.  I don’t clean or cook yet have a beautiful house and delicious food, which I eat with glorious abandon and never gain weight. 

Debbieland has been my escape, my relief, for as long as I can remember.

The problem with escape, though, is that it works for a little while, gives a little relief, but it doesn’t last.  When I come back to reality all of my problems are still here and I’ve done nothing to improve the situation.  I’ve neglected what (or who) I should  focus on.  

Idolatry isn’t something we talk about much these days.  We have more PC names for it, like Substitute Jesus, even Addiction.  But the truth is, whatever I turn to when I’m sad, or angry, or lonely, or overwhelmed—wherever I go to find relief that is not Jesus—is an idol. 

God has been exposing idols in my life, slowly, gently.  He is showing me that escape anesthetizes for a while, but it does not heal. Only He can do that.

When I feel the urge to escape I need to run into the arms of Jesus.  When overwhelm strikes I need to invite Jesus into the circumstances, into the reality.  I need to seek His Presence in the present.  I need to ask Him Who Gives Extravagantly for the comfort, strength, wisdom, peace I’ve been looking for in other places.

My friends, please hear my heart.  I’m not saying that all daydreams are idols.  I still picture myself accepting the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  But when I escape to daydreams instead of to Jesus I’m setting myself up for more pain, for further failure.  For sin.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge… deliver me in your righteousness… be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me… Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.  (Psalm 31)

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