Rise Up, My Love (145): Are You Sleeping with an Idol?

Flying over South Pacific IslandSong of Solomon 5:2 “I sleep, but my heart waketh. It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh.” My heart waketh. Ah, she was not totally asleep, because she came to consciousness enough to realize that her beloved was knocking! Not dead, just unresponsive. Where there is a yearning of desire…where there is pain…and growth…there is life. This can be true both of the spirit and the flesh. Where your heart is still yearning for sin and pained over what you should not have, the flesh has not been crucified. If your desire for something that is wrong or harmful is still growing, then you’re allowing the flesh to grow.

Have you heard the very old Eskimo fable about the two dogs? According to legend, each of us has “two dogs” living inside our hearts: a white dog (the spirit) and a dark dog (the flesh). The black dog is evil and is intent on killing us. He gnaws on the chambers of our heart and tries to chew off the arteries so the blood can’t flow in or out. The white dog is good and tries to strengthen us. He digests cholesterol and fights infections. The white dog is also the guardian of our heart and tries to keep the black dog from destroying us. But, the black dog hates the white dog, and so the two dogs are deadly enemies. Day in and day out the black dog attacks the white dog, trying to kill him.

We own the dogs and they eat whatever we put in our hearts. If we put evil thoughts into our hearts, the black dog feeds on the rotting meat and grows stronger and more ferocious. If we put pure thoughts into our hearts…especially the Word of God…the white dog feasts on this wholesome food and becomes strong and courageous. The black dog can never completely die, but he can be made so weak that he just crawls into a corner and waits for something to fuel his appetite again. This is called living the “crucified life”…walking in the Spirit. Also, the white dog can never die, but he can become so weak that he is no longer able to protect his master. This is called the ‘carnal life’…walking in the flesh.

“I sleep, but my heart waketh.” When you wake in the night, what is on your heart? Is it the longings of the spirit, or of the body? Is your first instinct to commune with God or to try to figure things out for yourself? Do you crave Christ, or something—anything—else? To crave anything but Christ is idolatry, and if you crave anything but Christ, you will not get up and answer his knock.

When I realized this some years ago, I realized that for more than three years I’d been sleeping…sleeping so hard that I’d not really heard his knock.

Dear child of God, do you have any “mania” in your life? It doesn’t have to be something that is evil in itself. Indeed, it might be something very good. It could be your spouse, your job, your dreams, your children, your home…anything. But, if it consumes you, it has become a bad thing in your life and needs to be put back in its rightful place: the palm of God’s hand. Otherwise, it could become an “addiction” of sorts and take control of your life just as cruelly as alcohol, drugs, or lust. Any interest that consumes your mind so completely that you find yourself waking up in the night thinking about it, not just once or twice, but as a habitual pattern, has become an idol (even a bad idol, like nursing a grudge against someone who’s hurt you), because it has taken first place in your heart and mind. If there is anything on your mind day and night besides the Lord, then I would guess that—like me—you have fallen into idolatry without even realizing it. If that is true, and you can hear him knocking, wake up immediately and rush to answer the door! Perhaps it will not be too late.


One response to “Rise Up, My Love (145): Are You Sleeping with an Idol?

  1. Charylene Powers

    I love this post – it causes me to search my soul and I like that. Also, I like the story of the dogs. Dave and I have been discussing the importance of what we choose to read, watching DVDs, movies to see – it is so critical to be the watch guard of our own minds.

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