When Inspiration Becomes an Idol

by | Nov 9, 2011 | Uncategorized

I pull grease stained paper plates from the table. Put the ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise back in the spots where they live on the refrigerator door. Silence falls over the house after a whirlwind of dinner activity.  And when I close the refrigerator door, my dog stands frozen on the cold tile looking up at me with some killer eye contact.

It seems he talks to me at a decibel I cannot hear, waits for me to answer a question.  Even when  I ask him what he wants, it is as if he stands in wet concrete.  Until I say the word outside and then he gallops off to the door.

In the early morning hours I stand waiting too. Waiting on God to speak about what He wants me to write. And I must speak dog because I don’t hear anything that resembles His voice. Maybe I don’t use the right words.

I am lone boat without horizon, still water waiting for rescue. 

As the sun rises, young voices crack open silence, startle back to reality and I feel stood up.  Like He forgot we were supposed to meet here today. And even though we meet like this every morning to watch the sunrise, I think perhaps He was too busy, has something more important to do.

And after I put turkey and swiss between bread, fill lunch boxes, drive kids to school, I look for writing inspiration.  Read the words others pen in blogs. And that looking for inspiration triggers the lies I tell myself, that I am a failure.

I don’t really believe I am a failure or that God stood me up but this circumstance, it triggers emotions that feel real but are not the truth.  Because I know God doesn’t call me failure.  He calls me beloved.

I recall the sermon my husband gives just weeks ago about the way we often ask God why.  The need we have for answers and explanations. How he uses the analogy of our asking God why with trying to explain things to a dog.  And this truth: God only tells us what we need to know in the way we understand

Later, as I stand under the shower spout, He reveals more.  He pulls the pieces of my downcast wondering together in one thought.  When I become anxious and seek inspiration outside of Him, compare my gifts to how He gifts others, I create idols. (1Samuel 12:21)

Then He prompts me to go back to the first words I read this morning:

“We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” ~Romans 8:26

And I realize, he was there with me to watch the sunrise.  His words just didn’t sound the way I expected.

“And God searches your heart, not to know what your conscious prayers are, but to find out what the prayer of the Holy Spirit is.” ~Oswald Chambers

Linking with Ann today and you really must go here to read about the trip bloggers take to Ecaudor.



Also joining:

 Jen @ Finding Heaven, Joy @ Life:unmasked,  Emily @ Imperfect Prose, Shanda @ Pause on the Path



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  1. Diane Bailey

    Really appreciate this blog today! I’m in a seeking greater intimacy with my beloved, season!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Diane, praying He speaks to you boldy today. What a great season to be in. Thanks for following and leaving a comment! I would love to hear more about where He takes you so come back and leave more here.

  2. Tara@pohlkottepress

    yes, friend. i too struggle with this. so glad you heard Him speaking, and that He spoke it to me through you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Tara, it felt like wrestling with God to get to the root but so thankful he is faithful to speak. You answered my prayer when I hit publish, that my words that are really His would resonate with someone today. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It blesses me!

  3. melyssa

    I must speak dog better than god as well somedays…this morning I couldn’t find the energy to pick up scripture and read, but instead had a conversation with our spaniel about how close i am to declawing him…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Melyssa, you made me laugh. I do some of my best talking with my dog. Maybe its because I know he will love me, not matter what I say! Thanks for leaving a comment today.

  4. brian miller

    God only tells us what we need to know in the way we understand. ..nice profound thought…nice analogy with the dog…and i appreciate the struggle to hear as well…and my desire to ask why…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I have to give my husband the credit for the profound thought. His words have echoed in my mind now for several weeks and over conversations. Thanks for your generous words and for sharing your personal thoughts.

  5. kelly

    thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sweet Kelly. So happy to know you are here with me.

  6. roseann elliott

    I was just telling God this morning…I only want to write from my heart…how He speaks to me…oh how easily we can create idols…I am new to the blog world…it is challenging…I want it to be purifying….
    Thanks for your honesty…blessings to your day…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Roseann, I echo your prayers as well. It is so easy to get caught up in what isn’t important, like the stats, the platform, blah blah in this blogging world. I just want to follow God. Thanks for being here.

  7. Sylvia

    Insightful. And I could so identify. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Glad to know I am not the only one out there! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. happygirl

    I love the analogy of speaking dog. I think this is why my husband hears God so much more clearly than I do. He also understands what the dog is saying and I haven’t a clue. I’m glad the Holy Spirit can search my heart and speak for me. I don’t speak God very well, but I’m studying. I want to learn. Good write. 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I thought my husband was brilliant when he came up with that analogy! Having a willing and open heart is all you need. Keep listening! Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. Shanda

    This was beautiful. I talk to my dog, even though she doesn’t understand. I speak with her because I love her and she is a companion. I’m glad God continues to speak to us, patient with us to come to understanding.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Shanda, His grace and love just overwhelm me most days. Thanks for your sweet comment. Enjoy reading about your recent trip.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you for reading and stopping here to share in the comments!

  10. janaecharlotte

    Lovely walk your words took me on as struggled and questioned. I love that you wrote about your soul questions unfolding in the midst of sandwich making and just plain living.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Janae, glad to know you wrestled through like I did! And yes, it seems like the head never turns off. I am always thinking about these things, which is something that can be hard at times. But it is also why I took up writing. So glad to hear from you.

  11. misty

    i have beloved tattooed on my wrist to remind me. b/cs i forget. how can we? this is a beautiful and faithful response to his showing you his hand so to speak, i am here, always here, and today i give you a glimpse into why.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Misty, how wonderful to have a daily reminder of God’s thoughts about you imprinted on your hand. Thanks for your encouraging words. So glad you stopped by, hope you come back!

  12. wolfsrosebud

    so true… His words don’t sound the way we expect them… often they are much sweeter… just ask your dog… loved the truth and comparison in your work

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, I do agree with you – much sweeter. Thanks for your kind comments and I am so happy you visited me today!

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