Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. ~Jonah 2:8


In a small East Texas town, an elderly member of a local church aired to her pastor that she was very angry with God. “Why are you angry?” asked the pastor. The woman, a faithful congregant of senior membership huffed, “Because He let my poor little dog die!” The pastor gently consoled the woman assuring her that all would be well, and he walked away extremely puzzled and discouraged. “Your poor dog? Seriously?!” the pastor thought. “What did she expect would eventually happen and how in her mind is this God’s fault?” he wondered. As he laid his head down that evening, he fell asleep with an unsettling certainty that human hearts are factories where idols are fashioned out of the good gifts God gives us into unrivalled objects of worship.

The Holy Spirit begins drawing impurities out of the heart as soon as He takes residence within us. There are obvious sins and character traits easy to identify that we immediately become convicted of. Cursing, lying, substance abuse, and sexual immorality are some of the usual suspects that we typically find necessary to dispel. However, as Christ rewires our hearts, conforms us more and more into His image, and works to be Lord over our entire lives we will inevitably be confronted with pieces of ourselves He says are in the way of His lordship. Pieces of ourselves that we are often willing to fight for. Idols.

“Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose.”
- C.S. Lewis

Idolatry is anything absorbing your devotion, imagination, and energy above God. Idolatry is the chief expression of unfaithfulness in the Bible. Abram was called OUT from among his idolatrous culture to be the father of many people who would become a nation set apart for God. Moses received the Law which began with a commandment to have NO other gods before God Almighty. Jeremiah proclaimed that all false idols WILL VANISH from the earth and from under the heavens. Without question, God will not share His throne with another.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” is how the apostle John ends his monumental first letter. How do we do this? We must learn to identify our idols and pray for the conviction to remove them once they’re discovered. Breaking down our idols is often difficult because we do not want them exposed. It’s hard to admit that we’ve made idols out of our politics, our work, our ministry, our relationships, and comforts. The thought of tearing them down threatens our happiness and purpose. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father (James 1:17), but only the Father is to have our good and perfect adoration.
In John 15, Jesus calls us to abide in Him. The call to abide in Christ means to stay bound and anchored to Him through everything. When we experience failure, grief, anger or injustice, who or what do we turn to? Are there good things (food, family, finances, ministry, recreation, … a little dog) we make into superior things and even elicit anger at the One who gives them when things go awry?

Let us pray God grants us the ability to see all we’ve exalted over Him, to repent of our idols, to cling to Christ who clung to a cross for our peace and happiness, and to present ourselves as a purified Body loving Him over all else. Then we can rightfully represent Him to a hostile idolatrous world in need of redemption.




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