Saturday, December 19, 2020
Dethroning your idols
Dethroning your idols
So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
Paul's world worshiped idols. No idol was more revered in Ephesus than the goddess Diana. The great statue was housed in a magnificent temple and was recognized as one of the wonders of the world. An idol-making industry, providing a livelihood for many people, developed in Ephesus to support the widespread idolatry of the day.
Paul did not go to Ephesus to condemn those worshiping idols but to unashamedly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. As Paul shared the truths of God, and as people were set free from sin's bondage, idol worship began to decline. The contrast between stone carvings and God's power to change lives became obvious. The righteous lives of the Christians stood in stark contrast to the hedonistic practices of the idol worshipers. The victorious Christian witness was so compelling that the economy of the entire city was thrown into upheaval as idolatry diminished in favor of Christianity.
Our society is as idolatrous as Paul's was. Rather than worshiping statues, we choose possessions, pleasures, or careers as our gods and pour our time, finances, and energy into these things. We do not have to seek out and condemn today's idols. Rather, as we live out our Christianity, enjoying the abundant life God gives, our lives will discredit the idols around us. We may face opposition and hostility from those who are angered at the contrast between our God and theirs. People do not like to have their idols dethroned! Yet as we uphold Christ with victorious, purposeful lives, others will see a difference and be drawn to Him and the life that He offers.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
At some point or another you hopefully realize that there are things in your life, outside of God, that are consuming your life.
It can be anything at all. Television, movies, reading, even the escaping from reality in any of its forms. Sports in all its forms.
People are easily sucked into following along with idolatry. When we first moved to central Ohio, at the place I was working, i had coworkers getting really vehement with me because I wasn't automatically a Ohio State University fan. If I was from Ohio, if I was living where I was, I MUST be an OSU fan! Nope. In sort of retaliation, sort of not, I flagrantly made sure to wear the University of Michigan apparel.
In the years since that and other things that I found myself collecting began showing themselves for what they were. Idols.
I will not wear a baseball cap with anyone's logo on it. Will not wear a t-shirt with sports on it for that reason. It's not that it's causing me to stumble but in our world of immersed idolatry it will accidentally encourage someone else to participate in idolatry. Yes I worded that comment correctly. I said will accidentally, not might accidentally. If you are a Christian you are under a microscope by the enemy of God. Always looking for a reason to go before Jesus, to point at you and exclaim "Ah hah! Look at what they're doing!"
My friend, if you are a Christian, be sure to read the opening Chapters of Job. Specifically pay attention to the questions that Jesus asks of Satan.
If you are not a believer, find a Bible and read that book yourself. You might begin to learn of some of the whys of things that happen in your life.
Celebrities are high on the list of idolatry. They live for positive publicity. Their agents manipulate circumstances to get them free PR. Celebrities who stay 'fresh' stay in the money. Political leaders stay in their monopoly to stay in the money. Dancing the Potomac Two-step to stay in power.
Idolatry was rampant before the Genesis Flood. Civilization was thriving. Huh? The ark showed no signs of technology! Yes, it did. It was built to exacting measurements. It was built with such Engineering skill that it had no trouble weathering the storms. It was as precisely built as what you see modern day Amish building anything they do. Not enough proof? Look at the insanely high tech fossils found. Transistors that even today we cannot power up. Spark plugs that look to have the ability to power massive engines.
Jesus said life would be like the days of Noah. Darkness would be thriving. Noah was mocked and ridiculed for a hundred years for preaching on repentance. From the times of the Apostles til now preaching Godly men have spoken on repentance.
For a hundred years I suspect people laughed at Noah, building a boat on dry land. Laughed at Noah asking him just where this promised flood was at. Things were going on as they always have been. People marrying and being given in marriage. No reason to change! Wait. That's the same things people say today since Jesus arose from the dead! Where is the promise of His coming? Life goes on like it always has! Look at this Earth. There is ample evidence everywhere that the Global Flood took place. God kept His promise. Jump forward to 2,000 years ago. God kept His promise. Jump forward to now. You better believe God will keep His promise.
There's two ways idols are removed from your life. Willingly and unwillingly. Because you remove it or God does. As a Christian you invited Jesus to live in your heart and life. There's no room for anything or anyone else in your heart and mind. Scripture says that Jesus is the lover of your soul.
What are you holding onto that keeps pushing Jesus to take the back seat?
We all battle with idols. Even Lot was troubled in Spirit because of what pressure people around him doled out towards him to join in.
Look at what you wear. Are you a walking billboard for an idol? Newsflash. If it is for a sports team or celebrity or something other than pointing people to Jesus it's a billboard for an idol. You, my friend, are telling the world who YOU worship. YOU are saying you worship something other than God. Denial is the beginning of the proof that you are an idol worshiper when you wear or outfit your home or vehicle with symbols of idolatry.
Look a your life. The Old Testament has a great deal in it about the Lord Jesus's hatred for idolatry. Not simply a dislike, HATRED.