Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lose Your Idols

My church’s devotional text today is Isaiah 44:9-
All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. 
This is the same verse in the New King James -
Those who make a graven image, all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know that they may be ashamed.

In Context

Chapter 44 in Isaiah begins with God speaking to His servant Israel, His chosen people in a very loving, reassuring tone. Listen to some of His words:
"Fear not, ... I will pour water on him who is thirsty...I will pour My Spirit on your descendants and my blessing on your offspring” (from Is 44: 2-5). 
Then God “LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts” reminds them who he is:
“I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God” (Is 44:7).
and He continues:
“You are My witness. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one” (Is 44:8)
It is clear: there is only ONE God. Jesus is God.

Anyone else is an idol, a false god, 
just as anything else is.

Now, that we know the context, we are ready for the verse of the day chosen to remind us to let go of our idols in our life. We like Israel, we God’s Chosen people, His church are His witness to the world.

We are His representatives, 
His ambassadors; 
We may be the only Bible a person ever sees. 

What kind of Bible are you?
Therefore we must take this seriously. What we say, what we do, what we wear... all this will be viewed by non-believers and even immature, new believers. We are a living testimony.



What is our life saying about God? We need a God-view, a Biblical perspective to take a strong look at our heart and outward life to see if there is anything unpleasing and idolatrous to God. Is there anything or anyone that usurps God’s rightful place in our life? Is there anything that gives the wrong picture or image that could cause someone to stumble or even be repelled from God?


Reflection


Being a free-spirit, I don’t like this. Honestly it is very hard to be a free spirit. So many people think it must be nice but it takes a careful walk with God, and it causes me to endure many times of being molded, shaped and refined by God. In my free-spiritedness take on life, I expose my weaknesses frequently. Yet, it is the personality God created me to have, and for it I am grateful.

I know Jesus died to set me free. I am free to live for God. I am not to be encumbered by man’s rules but to be only restrained by my love and respect for God. It takes a lot of study in God’s Word to separate man’s tradition and worldly ideals of godliness from actual Biblical guidelines given to me for my good by God Himself. I only want to be pleasing to God and to enjoy Him endlessly. But, I am His witness; I want people to desire to know Him and to be loved by Him.

Going Deeper


So let us look back at the original verse:

"Those who make a graven image, all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know that they may be ashamed” (Is 44:9).
God is contrasting His chosen people, His own witnesses with those who make for themselves graven images and who have false gods. He says these false gods are useless. Yet those who have them consider their idols to be precious. But, idols have no profit. People who chose idols over God are both their own witness as are their idols. And these people are blinded. They do not see or know that they are bowing to idols and do not know that they should even be ashamed.

What a horrible state we were all once in!

Is it not true?

We were all at one time blinded to our idols and many of us still are. If we are far away from God and aren’t studying His word we don’t even know what the idols are and that we should be ashamed of them.

Oh, how we all need to cling to God and go deeper, continually seeking for His to reveal idols in our heart and life so that we may be rid of them.

And how I pray in my own life that when God reveals an idol that I would not resist Him or want to cling to it, but that I would drop it like a red, hot coal taken from a simmering fire. Still, I know myself. And too often I will simply want to pour a little cold water on it so that I can keep it for later, maybe when no one is looking or when I am not drawing near to God and I can peek at it or even hold it again.

Let me bring it to the cross and recon it crucified with Christ. Let me see the precious blood of Jesus pour all over it, so that I dare not desire it. And let me remain in the presence of God until once again I hear Jesus say, “It is finished.” Jesus died once for all sins.

It is our duty to recognize idols in our own heart and to repent so that we may be clean and pure before Him. This is the joy of having a prayer life and of drawing nearer to God through fasting. May we all continue on this way.

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