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Friday, February 4, 2011

IDOLS


Genesis 22:1-17
What Do We worship?
C.S. Lewis "God is the eternal iconoclast" – Idol destroyer
Abraham had begun in a household of pagan idolatry. He also had opportunity to worship his own wealth and security. God called him out from his pagan roots and to reject pagan idols. Then God called him to leave the security of his wealth and home – when he took the lesser land. Then God called him to give up his 'pious idol' – his own son whom he viewed as God's fulfillment of promise.
God is not satisfied with our worship of anything other than Him. Often we like to think we are worshiping God alone, but our lives prove otherwise and betray our truest devotions. Our devotion to God is not merely external – as in the things we do each day – but also internal – the things we value, rely upon, desire, strive for. Looking at Abraham we may have thought he was devoted enough to God. He had already proved his devotion a number of times and seems to have been walking by faith even at this point. But God was not about to allow Abraham to continue in the slightest form of idolatry. He called him to true actual faith – not the pretense of faith but real faith. And Abraham passed the test as we read in Genesis 22.
As I seek to apply this text and its lessons to my own life these are the questions I come up with: What do I desire more than God? Where does fear reign and faith subside in my life? If I am truly honest, what is my greatest desire? What do I strive for? For what purpose?
What idols creep into my life? Imagine the thing you fear the most happening in your life. Is God enough even in that circumstance?
Read Psalm 73:25-28, Psalm 71:5-9, Psalm 63:1-8
I can relate somewhat to Abraham. God has called on me to relinquish idols in my life. And as His child, He hasn't even allowed me the luxury of resisting His call! When I've been at some of the lowest times of my life it is almost as if I can head the Lord speaking to me, "Am I enough for you?" I know the answer is yes, but do I truly KNOW it – do I believe it?
Here are some examples of idols that can be in our lives:
Pagan Idols: statues, incense, pleasing spirits, appeasing local customs, family piety
Other Idols: Money, health, possessions, status, self, pleasure, leisure, knowledge/education, lawn care (!), frugality, being a supermom, homeschooling (or any method of anything for that matter - organic eating could be a 'method' that becomes an idol).
Christian Idols: Reputation, Ministry, Security, Legalism (how well I keep certain rules), Status in local church, public identity, family, marriage, Bible (loving the written Word more than the Living Word), God's promises (as opposed to the Promise keeping God), worry/fear, appearances, stewardship

Many of these are good things to be astute in - to be invested in. The problem comes when the need for perfection in any one area supersedes all else and replaces my constant trust in God.

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