Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Idolitary


Habakkuk 2:18-20
“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman?
Or an image that teaches lies?
For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation;
he makes idols that cannot speak.
Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’
Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’
Can it give guidance?
It is covered with gold and silver;
there is no breath in it.”
The Lord is in his holy temple;
 let all the earth be silent before him.

What are our idols? What is it that we love more than God? Is it money? Friendships? The perfect house? The best car? Having good kids? Being respected? Is it simply ourselves? What is it that you struggle with, that you find you love more than God?

Whatever it is, these things hold no value without God. 

God is the creator of all things. He created us, he created our friends and families. He created money, he created the people who make the cars and houses which we enjoy. He gives these things value.

What do we trust in or long for? What do you trust in? I find it so easy to trust in my abilities and my friendships, and in pride so often I begin thinking about how well I did at something. Or else I focus on what I could have done better to improve my friendships, instead of focussing on God and thanking him for what I have.

You see the thing with idols is that they can never satisfy. They always demand more. Unless we are content in God we will always be seeking more. More money, more friends, deeper relationships, a cleaner house. Satan keeps us pursuing something better to distract us from realising that we have everything we could ever need in Jesus. We have complete forgiveness and complete salvation in him.

Another thought on the subject, whatever we find ourselves loving more than God, it ultimately comes back to selfishness. Why do we love money? Because we love ourselves and want t be comfortable. Why do we love our friends? Because we love it when they love us back and we love having people around us. Why do we love having the best house or car? Because we love to get those little glances of admiration. We love ourselves. 

If you're not living for God, who are you living for? Even if you're living for others, they will fail you, they are just as sinful. If you're living for yourself then you're gonna be disappointed because you'll stuff it up as well. Only God is perfect, only he saves and only he can satisfy.

So, if you find that you love something more than God, what can you do about it? What can I do about it since I've realised that I so often love my friends before I love God? Here's some ideas.

  1. Pray. Prayer is essential in our walk with God. Repent of not putting him first and pray for his help.
  2. Be humble. Realise that you can;t do it yourself. It has to be God who brings you back. But also realise that you are responsible and you need to work hard at it.
  3. Reorientate your thinking. When you find that you're thinking about your 'heart idol', then stop it and start thinking about God. For example, when I find I'm worrying about what my friends think of me I'm tying to instead thank God for them and make sure I'm doing what will glorify him (1 Cor 10:31). In that way, feed godliness and starve sin in your life.
  4. Read the bible. How else are we meant to grow in knowledge of who God is and love for him? How else are we meant to be challenged and encouraged as appropriate?
  5. Find people to be accountable to
"We worshiped our way into idolatry, we must worship our way out of it."

If you want to explore the topic a bit more, look at these two pages:

What do you find that you love more than God? What are you going to do about it?

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