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Idolatry

More and more I’ve moved from Scripture in my blog to just my life. I guess I’ll keep the trend going for a bit and hope my miniscule audience enjoys it. Tell your friends. :). Time to talk about idols I guess. Argh.

I’m an idolater. Here’s how it began. It started with something good. It started with something from God. Idols do that sometimes. For the Jews, the Egyptians gave them a lot of gold jewelry because God made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward them. So, the Jews had this gift from God. And then, when God felt absent and they felt lost and confused, they turned God’s gift into a golden calf and worshipped it. It took the place of God while he was with Moses.

I had a gift from God. But then life got confusing and I felt stagnant in a desert without direction, scared to wait. In the meantime, I took God’s gift and turned it into an idol. I put it in place of God. It felt reasonable. Because God seemed to have been spending all his time on a mountain far from me, I replaced him with something wonderful that he gave me. I put this idol in my heart and prioritized it in my life. The part of me that was once dependent on and grateful toward God was now full of the idol and my well-being became dependent upon it.

It’s amazing how fast it happens. God really wasn’t gone that long for the Israelites. He really wasn’t gone that long for me. But in those moments of crisis, where one isn’t sure what to do or how long it will feel like He’s gone, it’s easy to cling to the best thing that is there. That’s what I did. I turned a gift into an idol. It was so satisfying. Really. It filled me. It filled me with purpose. I was so grateful for it. I worshipped it, thinking in the process I was worshipping the gift-giver.

I wasn’t. I traded the truth of God for a lie. It’s amazing what happens when one realizes that the very object that has become so close to one’s heart is really a false god. It’s a impotent image. It is but wind and confusion. The very thing I counted on to fill me and bring me life was actually draining me and bringing death. It felt horrible. It’s a terrible feeling to realize you’ve been living a lie, to realize what you’ve been worshipping is destructive to worship. To realize you’re drained, destroyed, and dying is a tough truth to swallow.

It’s really helped me understand, at least to a point, the difficulty of the Israelites in destroying their idols and high places. I understand why so many times they removed the idols from the city, but kept the high places. They wanted to have the ability to go back to how things were before, they wanted to keep around just a part of what used to fill them. As backup, in case they felt like they had to go back to it again. The idols were such an important part of their life, and to have them just be suddenly removed makes it feel as if some part of their being is being torn from them. And even though they know it’s killing them, a piece of them feels like they need the idols. So the Israelites kept a piece of them.

It’s amazing how hard it is for me to give up my idol. It’s become so important to me. It’s been such a vital thing in my life. It’s been the primary thing on my thoughts. It’s been giving me a false sense of well being and life. My idol has made me feel more like myself because I have worshipped it in ways that have tied my soul to it. But I know it’s only brought me death. It’s destroyed who I am. And the longer I hang on, even to a piece, the more dead I will become. And I want to be alive and whole again. The man of God I once was. So, I will be. Goodbye idol, take the parts of me that are tied to you when you go, and be sure to shut the door on your way out.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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