What Are Your Mini Golden Calves?

We like gold.
We like tiny things.
We we like beef.
Wait, whaaaaat?!

So everyone might not like all these things, but we as humans do tend to focus on certain things. Things that we end up putting ahead of God. I know I have. Anyone out there know what I’m talking about?

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Like that darn golden calf Aaron shaped from the gold jewelry the Israelites owned, we fashion up our own ~ all tidy these days since we aren’t wandering around a literal desert.

We do it though.
We make miniature golden calves.

We make false images of God in our lives. A false image god with a lower case “g”, because NONE are worthy. Our tidied-up, fit-in-our-schedules, justification-laden mini golden calves. Meh.

Even false images of ourselves come from false images of God. {He does not see our wrinkles, our weight gain, our “bad hair” days, our less-than-stellar careers, our just-not-good-enough houses… need I go on? I didn’t think so. ;) Probably, we’ve all got some when we really take inventory.}

The Golden Calf does represent idolization, but not really of a shiny cow. The Israelites had seen God work on their behalf. They knew He was real. Powerful.

No… the shiny wasn’t mesmerizing them. The Golden Calf represented human impatience, greed, and idolization of self.

They just couldn’t wait for God to make the next move. “Oh, He’s done so much for us already, Aaron. But…. but, but, but.”

{Okay, so that is my paraphrasing of their “impatience”. But you get the picture, don’t you? They wanted more. God ~ Jehovah Jireh {The Lord who Provides} ~ was not sufficient for them in their eyes. What they really wanted was more “me”. More self.

“He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:20 NIV

So they worshipped a lazy calf. A non-committal, non-caring, non-law maker idol.

Themselves.

They could do what they wanted, when they wanted, how they wanted.

And how did God respond?

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” – Exodus 32:9-10 NIV

God was angry.

Enough said there I think. I don’t want to make God angry.

This was useless. Utterly useless. Useless religion made by man. Just like today.

I’m not condemning, but for those who recognize along with me that a few moos show up in our lives now and again and beg for moo-ore … “gimme moo-ore of that” … well, we need to be diligent about keeping our fences up. I do not want cows I don’t own wandering into the property of my soul.

Yet, they do.

I leave the gate open.

Little things… little golden things.

Maybe things like:

* careers
* things
* our looks
* our children (yes, I said that)
* our spouses (even they should be second)
* financial burdens

Things that need our attention, but only to the degree that we understand God’s in control.

God was Good to hear Moses’s prayer of request… Remember your promise, Lord.

Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. – Exodus 32:14 NIV

I don’t know what your shiny mini golden calves are, but I think we need to melt those bad boys back down. We need to melt them back into the clay we are and let the potter mold us into a soul focused on the only One who is worthy of our attention.

Let’s truly live ALL IN and be cautious with our focus.

I won’t ask you to list your “mini golden calves”, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Live blessed,
~ Heather

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13 thoughts on “What Are Your Mini Golden Calves?

  1. lljostes says:

    You hit the nail on the head, Heather…”impatience” leads to those little, shiny idols. Accepting that all things work together for good…in God’s time…in God’s way…to His glory. Lord, Let me be still and know that you are God! amen. Thanks for the reminder! Blessings ~ Laura

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  2. bunnyb1802 says:

    sacred cows. we all have them. We all try to hold onto them whilst we try and do what we were created for – fellowship with God and loving Him. Why do we hold on? Fear. Because we struggle to believe that God really isn’t like us, fickle, impatient, untrustworthy. So we try to hedge our bets “I’ll believe in God, I’ll step out but I’ll just keep my arm around my cow’s neck just incase God actually is more like a human and let’s me down”.

    I know because I am still holding on to a few cow necks and it’s hard to let go. But let go we must. God, please help me to put the cow down and look at you instead. Teach me to trust you more than Mooooo.

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    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Yes, I agree, Caroline. It is as if we are dangling between two things, and we think if we let go of one that we might not make it completely across to the other. But the truth is we’ve divided our strength in half just holding onto the one that isn’t any good for us. So we are only half of who He created us to be.
      Sad.

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  3. humptydumptymuralmagic says:

    Wonderful post. When we put idols in terms of our world today, I think we all have those uh-oh moments and realize that we are worshiping idols.
    In my blog over at humptydumptymuralmagic, I wrote about how my frustration with a friend had turned into idol worship. I was putting MY feelings above everything, even God. We often don’t even realize that we are doing this, but I am starting to realize that when ever I am constantly ruminating about something, I have usually created an idol out of that thing.
    I thank you for your perspective on this very important subject.
    God Bless

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    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Thanks, Melanie. :) I’ve been to your site. Your artistic talent is wonderful by the way!
      I know those “uh-oh” moments for sure. I think we can hide truth from ourselves way too easily, you know? Human master mind … what an oxymoron! Lol. We aren’t master of anything except maybe deceit.
      We Christ Followers need to get out of living lukewarm. I’m trying and trust He delivers me from it daily.

      Thanks for bringing the conversation here. I so appreciate and agree with your thoughts. :) I’ve read your blog but will have to go back and see if I read that post you referred too!

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  4. Simply Beth says:

    Yeah, I have a few cows to melt too. Might do be well to list them and really give thought to what I’m placing before God. Thought-provoking. And the way you write makes me smile. I hope you are having a blessed Saturday, friend. {Hugs}

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    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      Hey buddy,
      I’m glad I make you smile. :D
      You make me smile too! I love to read your stuff. You are the real deal, Sister. And I always pray God let’s my soul see the real deal peeps out there in the blogosphere. I like many writers and bloggers, but there’s a few I love. The real deals. You are one, Beth.

      Here’s the difference…
      You don’t have to try; your love just shines through words. :)

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  5. Ceil says:

    Hi Heather! You make me turn to think what I make idols in my life. And that’s a good thing! I never am sure why I prefer those ‘shiny things’ to the Lord, but I suppose the Israelites didn’t have much of an answer either. It really does come down to faith and patience…I’ll be working on that my whole life I think.
    Blessings, from The Weekend Brew,
    Ceil

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  6. Anthony Baker says:

    A member of our church told me about his daughter who quit going to church. Because of [some things] that happened, his daughter said that she was done with the God “thing” because if “it” was all real, He would have done something.

    I said, “I wish I could talk with her.” Another said, “There’s nothing you could say; she wouldn’t listen.” I replied, “Oh, I don’t want to SAY anything…I just want to ASK some questions.”

    You see, so many who have given up on God have done so because they were actually worshiping and praying to a god of their own making – an idol. I would like to know what the girl expected God to do. I would like to hear her describe the god she thought she knew, then point out the reason she should be disappointed – her god is just an idol. No wonder it seems like God’s not real! Those who pray to idols have a right to be disappointed!

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    • Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer says:

      That’s such truth right there, Anthony. The Church, unfortunately hasn’t been stellar in living like and showing Christ through time, but people leave it because of just what you said. The idolization of self is what that all boils down to, and if God was “divised” by man in any way then Grace would have never been in the equation, I don’t think. We even break our calfs.

      Actually The Church would have always been stellar if it wasn’t being held up by some of those golden calfs.

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