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Stone

Have you ever had an outfit, a coat, or a pair of shoes that made you feel like you were more than you are? As soon as it’s on you feel the power surge into your emotions and boost your confidence by 10. With it on you can achieve the unbeatable beat, the ungettable get, win over any crowd, reach any goal. I mean, we have the “power suit,” the “power tie,” I’ve even read that a Chanel suit is as good as a suit of armor in New York.

Even finding that magic article of clothing at the mall or boutique makes you feel like you’re a part of something special. Especially if you go during a major sale. You’re more likely to score that exceptional something during the high fete of Black Friday or Tax Free Weekend. For some, the curation and display of clothing becomes a lifestyle. A worldview even.

Between the spring and fall fashion weeks, the shopping “holidays,” and the “book” of all books (aka: magazines) – Vogue, one could legitimately create a calendar with rhythm and punctuation along with daily reading. There is a value system and philosophy attached to the world of fashion that all those who produce, promote, and wear have in common. Here are all the building blocks with which to build the foundation of a life, an identity.

I’m not saying clothing is bad or shopping is wicked. I’m merely pointing out how easy it is to take something useful and turn it into something sacred. To build an altar to it in our hearts that become like the sacred stones Israel put up in worship to other gods. Which grieved the LORD.

The prophet Micah described a day of judgement that would bring an end to this idolatry, “‘In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down your strongholds. I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. I will destroy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.” (Micah 5:10-13 NIV) He is talking about more than just horses and walls. God (through Micah) is talking about the things that make men feel powerful, in control, and safe.

Chariots in biblical times was the ultimate military power. I don’t know much about military endeavors so I don’t know what the equivalent would be today. My best guess is, it’s like having a fleet of the ultimate jets or maybe the ultimate drones.

Cities were and are a source of wealth and pride. A means of displaying the prevailing culture of the land to others. A way of gathering the best there is to offer in one place.

Witchcraft was like having a hand in the unseen in life, the powers that move beneath the surface. Sort of like having a back room full of hackers and algorithm coders moving the unseen current of the internet. Influencing others and moving them like chess pieces.

But what about the sacred stones? What’s the harm of having a bit of granite sitting there to bring a bit of reassurance in the midst of the craziness of life? Apart from splitting loyalty, I think it’s the lie of it.

The sacred stones in our lives promise security and fullness, much like the example I described earlier. But the truth is a life built on the sacred stone of fashion asks you to trade in your identity for the one you’re told to have to be “in.” It leaves you poorer (likely in debt) and just plain used as fuel for the machine of it all. If other sacred stones were examined closer I believe they would leave you much the same.

The things meant to lift us up from underneath end up over us as a source of pressure and breakdown. How much are the lies we carry about ourselves a result of sacred stones in our lives or in our families? How much of our prayers revolve around the symptoms of a sacred stone?

Micah starts chapter five by prophesying about Jesus. Before God promises to eradicate sin from the land He promises the hope of Jesus. I think in some ways this order of promises is like a metaphor for the order of redemption.

First sin must be conquered. Done, Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day. Then sin must be dealt with individually. To make room for Jesus and redemption in your heart, the sacred stones etc. must be cleared out. The things we eat, drink, and make must be taken out of the sacred classifications and put back into the useful ones. Once the sacred stones come down and broken down into mundane rocks we can allow Jesus to enter the sacred space in our heart. With that admission He brings redemption, restoration, and healing.

The lies of the sacred stones lose their power over us and we’re set free from them. I’m reminded of a lyric from a song put out by UPPERROOM, “So let my love song cause those lies to fall like stone around you. There they go now, don’t you know my love is all around.” It’s a song sung from the perspective of the Father about how much He loves us and His desire to remove weight of the hurt that resulted from sin.

The love of God, shown through Jesus, ministered to us by the Holy Spirit, is the power that is above the power of things and places in our lives. The sacred stones God is removing from my life probably look different than the ones He is addressing in your life. The symptoms might look similar. The solution is the same for them all: the love of the Father and our acceptance of that love.

So the next time it feels like God is removing the things I rely on I’m going to stop and examine them to see if they are really sacred stones. I’m going to try and work with God, lean on Him more, and invite Him further in to those spaces effected. I don’t want to rely on the false security of a sacred stone, and I don’t want to have something standing between me and God. I want His true security and the way clear for me to be united with Jesus.

-Etta Woods

 

“The Father’s Song (Spontaneous) – UPPERROOM” UPPERROOM channel on Youtube. 2018.

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