No Other Gods Bible Study Week 5

Welcome back to online bible study! Today we continue with our examination of modern idols and false gods as we discuss week five of No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. This week we started saying goodbye to functional gods, those things or people who actually operate as our god. When we make room for God in our lives, He fills the space with His presence, His love and His blessings. Declutter and find yourself near Him.

Kelly Minter had us digging through scripture as we examined the Isrealites manna complaints and saw how they craved more than God provided for them. Food, which is good for us, becomes a false god. When we relinquish control of our food gods, we open our heart, soul and minds to the blessings of the Father and an invitation to His banquet table. The Lord has been asking me to let of my food cravings, especially sugar and chocolate, my gods of choice. Initially I was afraid to give this up, because food feeds my emotional hunger. When I hurt, when I anger, when I’m lonely or depressed- food becomes a trusted friend. It’s readily available, sweetened with sugar, and instantly satisfying. It feeds my soul cravings. By giving up this functional god and eating healthy instead, I open myself up to allow God to feed my soul. He is my comfort when I hurt. He is my advisor when I’m angry. He is my friend. He lightens my load. The Father provides our soul needs, and food is simply a means of keeping our bodies healthy and alive. By giving up my functional god I open myself to a feeding from the Lord. Realizing this, I have been letting go and not grieving my false gods. I’ve watched my body physically change by losing weight and letting go of the excess load I was carrying. I carried the weight of my functional gods- and then walked in shame because I knew my body did not represent the identity Christ gave me. By giving my emotions to the Lord, and eating only to fuel my body and not my heart, I am living in freedom.

Last night I went to a steak restaurant with my family to celebrate our hard work in hosting a garage sale. As I sat before my expensive meal, I was unable to eat more than three bites. I was not hungry, did not crave my food gods, and my emotions were finding satisfaction in God. What a treat to realize how far I’ve come- and I’m certain it’s from the No Other Gods bible study! I’ve failed numerous diets because my heart and mind were not centered on God, they were centered on the food I was craving. As Kelly Minter writes “Leaving our false gods requires faith. We have to believe that where God wants to take us will be better than what we are clinging to, even if we can’t imagine it.”

I’m sharing my personal story because I’m going to ask you to share yours below. It’s time to say goodbye to your functional gods. What is God leading you to get rid of?

Prayer Requests

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Kelly Minter Quotes

  • We cling because the painful familiar is often more comfortable than the foreign amazing.
  • God uses scarcity in our lives to draw us to dependency on Himself.
  • We deceive ourselves when we think our gods will bring us anything but leanness of soul.
  • God wanted bread for their bodies so they could have meat for their souls.
  • God’s promises aren’t necessarily realized without struggle.
  • God’s love is so rich and refreshingly different than our often-limited views of love.

For Next Week

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103 )
  2. How do you feed your soul?
  3. Is there something the Lord is asking you to no longer withhold from Him? What are the reasons why you’re afraid to give it over to Him? (page 117 )
  4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She’s an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 31 Comments

  • Lisa H says:

    1. Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103 )
    I used to *crave* stuff. Knick knacks, stuffed animals, books that I didn’t read, things that were cute but useless – stuff. I was a horribly impulsive buyer (I still can be in the grocery isles – this one is a bit hard for me now that my kids are gone). I had a ton of “stuff” in my house. None of it worth anything once the “buying” was over. It all just took up space. Last year I *looked* at everything and just got discussed. It was soooo much of nothing I felt sick. I boxed up about half of it (out of sight out of mind I guess), gave some of it away to family and since then have been taking it over to Goodwill. What makes me sad is that I still have some that is “out” and all that I boxed up. I didn’t *need* any of it. I wanted some of it. The rest was a physical craving I had to spend, spend, spend. I still get the impulse and find myself putting stuff in my buggy, but then when I “see” it, I take it out. I am making progress!!

    2. How do you feed your soul?
    Listening to worship music, Christian contemporary music. Reading. Re-reading scripture passages where God has given me a word or after I “get it”. 🙂

    Praying Peace & Blessings over you all …

  • Victoria says:

    Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103 )
    Craving means (to me) that it has some sort of hold over me. It holds power over me.

    How do you feed your soul?
    Praise & Worship music; Reading His Word; Face Down prayer (I’ve only had this experience maybe twice, and I desperately should be doing this daily!)

    Is there something the Lord is asking you to no longer withhold from Him? What are the reasons why you’re afraid to give it over to Him? (page 117 )
    I like to be in control, which is why I don’t want to let go. And I don’t want to look dumb, or second-best. It’s that pride thing 🙁

    Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    The prayer by Tozer at the end; Difference between letting go and offering as a sacrifice; Day 4: It helped to open my eyes again to the fact that I don’t have to do this all on my own; Jesus is going to be right there with me, getting dirty and helping me to clean up my mess.

  • Allison says:

    Well, here I am…a week behind again. But, at least I’m still doing the study, right?

    1. Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103 )

    From June of last year until December, I lost 20 lbs. I began counting calories and running…to excess. Most people would think counting calories and running would be good for you. Well, when I got down to 118 lbs, (I’m 5’7″ and 52 years old), my friends and family began to worry. I was running 6-8 miles a day and was only eating about 1500-1800 calories per day, so my calorie expenditure was more than my calorie intake. My friends, my kids and my husband were concerned that I had become obsessed with the weight I was losing. Was it possible I was developing the beginning signs of an eating disorder? I had turned something good into something harmful. I still run, but not as much and I still log and count calories, but I try to keep everything balanced. I weigh 125. (Yes, I’m probably compulsively weighing myself as well.)

    2. How do you feed your soul?

    I used to feed my soul by compulsively buying and impulse shopping, but I’m working on that one as well. These Bible studies are showing me that I’m trying to fill the holes in my soul with “Stuff” and that leaves no room for Jesus.

    3. Is there something the Lord is asking you to no longer withhold from Him? What are the reasons why you’re afraid to give it over to Him? (page 117 )

    I suppose the fear of being an empty-nester in two months is something I am afraid to give over to Him; that coupled with having recently re-located to a very big city where I know no one.

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

    The reason I’m so behind on this study is because of the move here to Arizona. It’s been two weeks of unpacking 30 years of things like Anadara: “I have the illusion that the stuff is still offering me something, or that I have the hope that one day this stuff will be of use to me.” How “apropos” to use Anadara’s word that I would be reading her journal excerpt the very week I unpacked legos, lincoln logs, barbie dolls, beanie babies, matchbox cars, arts and crafts from when I was a cub scout den mother and a brownie troop leader, and much, much more. This move has been like some kind of intervention…I am forced to face “my addiction” and it has been eye-opening going from box to box while doing this week’s study. Thankfully, God gave me the strength to call a Goodwill service to come by the house and pick up more than 20 boxes of donated items, clothes, shoes, several stuffed animals, toys, crafts and small appliances. I have them coming again this week, so maybe there’s hope for me that I like Anadara am “finally at a place where I understand the beauty of getting rid of the things that simply take up space, our lesser gods that give me a false sense of security and hope.”

    • Angie says:

      No matter if you are a week behind or not Allison, I’m glad you’re persevering and sharing with us. Your responses are uplifting and encouraging. I just love hearing stories of God’s perfect timing in people’s lives!

  • Sue Alice says:

    Thanks Christine and Lauren. He is now in arteral fibrilation and is now taking Coumdian plus abot 17 pills in the a.m and 10 pills in the p.m. He is staying at home mostly now expect to go to appointments and get lab work done. Blessing to you and yours. {{{HUGS}}}

    • Angie says:

      I’m praying for your husband and you also Sue Alice. My father had the same thing happen to him in 2007 and had to have a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat and takes the Coumadin as well.

      • Sue Alice says:

        angie,

        he has a pace maker and five bypasses, plus 4 stints. also a diabetic. I will pray for your dad. blessiings.

  • Sue Alice says:

    Hi everyone I am so sorry I will not be bloging this week. May do it later this week. My husband has been going through a rough patch this week. Blessins to all. Thanks.

  • susan says:

    I only finished week 5 yesterday – -and it was so in God’s timing . . .I don’t think I was ready to receive the message until then. I had an absolutely horrible day Tuesday . . .attacked from the moment I got up with so much negativity from so many different sources . . .put in the middle numerous times. So with prayer and confession I went into this study (I needed to complete days 4 & 5) . . . well God spoke to me very clearly about the things I was holding on so tightly to . . .Anadara’s journaling so spoke to me . . .about what I need to clean out, what I needed to accept and that I need to start moving forward. The problem was I was happy with my life and then it fell apart. I was spending so much time looking back, that I was afraid to admit I was afraid to move forward . . .I am embarrassed to admit I have been afraid to turn things over to God . ..I prayed fervently for something and the answer was a heartbreaking no. and so, on page 112 it said . .”there’s something you lack. you are missing treasure in heaven and you are unable to follow me because something has a hold on you that is more important to you than ME.” . . as strange as this may sound I realized I hadn’t forgiven God for His no. I have been studying,praying, learning, walking with Him for the past 18 months, and yes, I have been growing in my faith . . but something was missing and I didn’t know what was wrong . . .and then when reading these lessons, about Abraham being so obedient … .and the Holy Spirit convicted me that I needed to lay my disappointment, my anger at God (which before now I didn’t realize I had) at the altar . . .after a night of praying and just saying, I’m sorry for my anger, I’m sorry for my lack of forgiveness towards you, i feel so much more peace. I know it sounds like I am rambling . ..but this was such a break through for me. Now, I will seek balance and trust that Jehovah-Jireh will provide me with what I need to move forward. and I am thankful for a God who is patient, understanding, and forgiving!

  • Rhoda says:

    2. How do I feed my soul?
    “As the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after thee..”
    Quiet time in the morning, heart prayers throughout my day, Bible Study, reading or praying scriptures, listening to worship music as I work, singing, humming or playing childrens worship music with my grandchildren, Sunday worship with other believers, having communion and remembering his sacrifice on the cross for me, listening to family members or friends share about their faith walk in the Truth….
    4. A favorite moment was on Day 03 Courage for Change noticing that God’s promises aren’t necessarily realized without struggle. God promised them a land that had people in it that were big and strong and also had high walls…yet it was promised to be theirs and He helped them overcome obstacles and struggles! I was so encouraged to continue to pray and believe his promises Jer 29:11 and 3 John 2 for me and He will help me overcome my giants and walls… body aches, down turn in economy, managing schedule, stress, and eating what is right for me…
    Another favorite moment was making Sicilian Pizza Crust on morning of Day 05 right after finishing Day 05 study!! We had pizza for lunch and it was yummy and I’d say fed my soul too since I thought about study as I made and ate it! This is becoming to be one of my favorite Bible Studies…God is so Good!

    • Lauren says:

      I really liked your answer for feeding your soul. This is something I started the year out doing, quiet time in the morning, and as life became hectic have been neglecting. Got my clock set for early in the morning… going to get my exercise done early before church and do some Bible studying… and I am counting my exercise as God time… I’m looking at it as a way to praise Him, because I am able to move and it is His temple.

  • Elle says:

    1.Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103 )
    Things I crave: Mexican Food, Anything NEW, Coffee, A tan. These cravings seem harmless, but let me tell you, the more you satisfy a Craving the more and more you Crave it, then comes a pattern of indulging myself in my craving. What has been working for me is journaling how I feel once I satisfy a craving. And I always feel Bad. Mexican Food leaves me feeling to full, Coffee makes me sweat, and a Tan feels great but can eventually give me skin cancer. Anything New is usally clothing, and I hang it up next to the last NEW thing that still hasn’t been worn.

    When I was looking through my book I saw a note I wrote to myself, GIVE AWAY ALL THINGS NOT USED IN THE PAST YEAR. How fast I forget/move on from what the Lord is doing in me. LETS MAKE SOME ROOM!

  • Lynmara says:

    1. shopping has been my God for a long time. With this study I am trying to let it go. It’s funny because I don’t buy expensive things, just things with coupons or just because it looks like a good sale. Once I get home I still felt empty. Yesterday on my way I wanted to stop at Target (I know when they move their things o the 75% racks! ) I turned on the christian radio station and just passed by it. It felt good to be in control of that decision.
    3. I need to work on my confidence. For some reason I feel there is something behind a degree. It gives me confidence in knowing what I am doing. The problem is I don’t move on. In the end it’s just one more diploma. Now that I am finishing my second masters, I have found my self putting together stuff for a Ph.D without praying to God. It will never work if this is not what he has for me.
    4. My husband got baptized!!!!! He has changed so much. After so many years of prayer God has finally answered my prayers.

  • Michelle says:

    1.) Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103 )

    Being a good mother. When I need this, it is filling something in ME. If it is NOT an idol, then it fills a need in others.

    2.) How do you feed your soul?

    Prayer, Bible studies like this, WORSHIP, church, reading…

    3.) Is there something the Lord is asking you to no longer withhold from Him? What are the reasons why you’re afraid to give it over to Him? (page 117 )

    My children. I’ve been aware that it is EXTREMELY difficult to hand them over to God (which involves removing MY hands) for a very long time. God has been so gentle and patient with me on this issue. I’m afraid because they are my kids! BUT, in truth, they are HIS kids. I’m learning that!
    Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.

  • Brystan says:

    1. I find that I strive to be a lot of great things. I strive to be academic (beyond just doing enough to get grades), I strive to be a great writer, I strive to be beautiful, I strive to be spiritual…but I work so hard on trying to get myself to accomplish these things, I don’t really reach out to God for help…even though I know He would be the one that would help me the most to get the things I really need.

    2. I feed my soul by reading, by writing, by journaling, and I am trying to direct more of these activities towards God, and for God just as much as myself.

    3. My heart mostly. I read the Bible, I pray, I reflect on Gods word…but admittedly I am withholding some of my heart from Him…maybe out of fear? I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure this one out.

    4. Being reminded that some of the things I missed about my old idols were in fact “false” memories of them really struck a chord and made me rethink a lot of things.

  • Jayce says:

    1. Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good. How is craving it different from wanting or needing it?

    Food is a great example of an idol that can be categorized as good. It nourishes our bodies and keeps us alive and healthy; however, took much of a good thing can always be bad, especially when we want it more than God. Craving is much more intense than just wanting or needing; it can be almost uncontrollable.

    2. How do you feed your soul?

    I feed my soul by doing this Bible study and reading the Bible almost everyday. I also feed my soul while working out because it is my quiet time with only myself and my God.

  • Jennifer D says:

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    Saying goodbyes
    I enjoyed the song at the end of the chapter.

  • Debby says:

    I find my soul fed with spending time each morning reading the Bible and reflecting, but also in my walks when I am by myself with my dogs and can just walk and talk to Him. Many things come into my mind during these times and I am able to talk honestly with Him. I feel that closeness of Him walking beside me.

    Looking back, one aha moment last week was when Kelly said that sometimes we say goodbye to idols but then miss them, due to false memories. It was just a wake-up that when I say goodbye, I am letting Jesus have the idol, they are no longer connected to me.

  • Christina C. says:

    I am very sad to say that I have fallen behind in the bible study. Life has been very busy the past couple weeks and I’ve been trying my hardest to stay with the group but I’m a little behind. I will catch up in the next few days and come back to comment. Glad I can be honest!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for being truthful Christina. Many women have fallen behind, and like you, they are not quitting. They simply accept where they are in the workbook, and have made a personal commitment to continue. The NOG study is easier than most, and the lessons are 15-20 minutes each. So if you complete 2-3 lessons in a day, you’ll be on track with the rest of the group. If you prefer, read at your own pace and finish when you can. Unlike a church small group study, you will not miss the group discussion and can come here anytime to read the comments and finish your study. Don’t let the enemy convince you to give up- because then satan will condemn you for the action. Finish the study when you can! Our next study begins July 5th.

      • Christina C. says:

        Yay! I’m happy to say that I finally caught up to the group. Hip hip hooray!

        1. An idol in my life that can be categorized as good is being organized. I tend to get something in my head and can’t stop obsessing over it until it’s finally done. The problem is that I tend to either procrastinate or just not find enough time so then I end of worrying about it for longer than needed. Wanting and needing things to be organized I think is ok but craving it is not. I need to be able to let things go. Still working on this one!

  • Lauren says:

    1. I have made an idol our of being a “Good” mom and wife… good as in appearing to be… I get so wrapped up in what other people think that I get upset about silly little things that really don’t amount to anything. When I crave something else instead of God, I lose focus on the important things in life.
    2. I feed my soul through reading my Bible, listening to worship music, and journaling… all things I need to do more of so I can be full of good stuff instead of trying to fill up on junk!
    3. My heart… through this study I see there is still areas in my life that I have not surrendered completely to God. I need to learn to let go, but it is so hard to just trust, even though I KNOW God’s promises are true. I’m believing, though, that God is going to do a big thing for me… in His terms. His way. I’m praying, and believing, that God will make my faith grow.
    4. I really liked Anandra’s (spelling?) story, because I often try to “hide” things from myself and God through denial. I also liked revisiting the story of Abraham. I am soooo glad that my God is a God that provides!

  • Angie says:

    1. Think of an idol in life that can be categorized as good (I used the food example above). How is craving it different from wanting or needing it? (page 103)
    An idol of mine is having my own home. This is something I have wanted since I was a teenager and I have always thought I would be happy if I had one. I have definitely craved this over the years which for me was an uncontrollable desire/focus which led me to make rash decisions and do stupid things to try to get it. For me now, wanting my own home means I would like to have one, if it is God’s will for me. Needing a home means having no place to live.

    3. Is there something the Lord is asking you to no longer withhold from Him? What are the reasons why you’re afraid to give it over to Him? (page 117)
    Two things came to mind:
    > My free time. I am afraid of what God might want me to do in my free time and I am also afraid that I will never have any time for myself.
    > My idea of what I would like my life to be like. I am afraid that my dreams won’t come true.

    4. Share a favorite moment from this week’s study.
    A favorite was learning the difference between letting something go and making it an offering. What a beautiful, intimate form of submission.

    • Debby says:

      I can identify with giving up my free time. But in giving it up, I also know that He will fill it with things that are more satisfying.

      • Angie says:

        You are so absolutely right Debby. I’m certain that not only would He fill the time with something more satisfying but also with something much more productive than how I spend it. I am terribly lazy in my free time and am definitely being convicted about it!

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