So many hundreds of people who worship things, giving powerless things power over their lives. In some cases, people even gave of themselves to worship, whether that meant physically or financially. It's actually pretty heartbreaking. Take the Israelites, for example. God led them out of their bondage and then, ba da bing ba da boom, they turn right around and melt all their gold, turning it into an idol. Into an idol that has never done anything for them, will never do anything for them.
But idols aren't all gold. And they don't all live in the Old Testament.
Actually, there's quite a few present in my life. I have a confession to make. I worship idols. Here are some of their names:
Fear and worry. I let fear literally run my life sometimes. I sacrifice so much thought and feeling to worrying about the future. I make room in my heart for fear and push everything out. Sometimes, the majority of what I think are "what if's". I bow to fear and worry and accept them into my life.
People's opinions. There are times that I let people's opinions of me dictate how I act, how I speak. I have centered my actions around people, figuring as long as I'm accepted and well thought of, nothing else matters.
Anger. I have clung to unrighteous anger. I have let it guide my thoughts and actions. Instead of having a forgiving spirit, I sacrifice so much of my time and energy to just being angry.
Distrust. Because of past hurt, I have let distrust uproot love in my life. I have been suspicious, sure people are out to get me.
Despair. Rather than trusting, I have let go of hope so often in my life.
I am a sinner. I am just as heartbreaking as the Israelites...God has done (and is doing!) so much for me, and I continually bow to these other gods. I turn to these idols because they're easy. It's so easy to fall into these temptations, to worship fear and worry, to believe that people's words are the be-all-end-all, to cling to anger, worship distrust, and be one with despair.And here's the thing: these gods that I'm giving so much of myself to? They're not giving me anything. They destroy my heart, making me weak and tired.
"Since the Lord, your God, is a merciful God, He will not abandon or destroy you..." -Deut 4:31
Again, these things can't do anything for me. They are empty. They are lies and they are not of Jesus. Why should I open my heart to them when the God of the universe longs to give me His peaceful love that washes away all hurt...fear...worry...
Why do we worship things that hate us? That are so bad for us? Why would we not run to the arms of an all loving Father?
THAT is where the power is. In Jesus Christ, who died and rose from the dead. I am not a slave to fear, I am a child of God. I can believe, I can be free.
This year, let's give up our control-- we don't have it anyway. Let's give up our false worships, whether that be in the name of fear, anger, distrust, sex, money, whatever. Every day, let's surrender. Let's proclaim God as the one and only Lord of this world, the one and only King of our hearts. And then let's watch the glory unfold.
"...you must know acknowledge and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below and there is no other." -Deut 4:39