Tuesday, February 26, 2008

10 Minute Tuesdays

Isaiah 44:9-11
All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.
Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing?
He and his kind will be put to shame; craftsmen are nothing but men.
Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and infamy.

These are the verses highlighted today at Faithful Chick for 10 Minute Tuesdays.

I read this scripture early this morning and I have been thinking on it all day. I know we are only supposed to think on the verse 10 minutes and respond, but this one struck a chord with me and I had to dwell on it for awhile. I’m not sure I have my thoughts totally together yet… but here goes.

The part of this scripture that stands out to me the most is “the things they treasure are worthless.” “They” referring to those who make idols. As Alicia says in her post, most of us Christians wouldn’t think of making a golden calf…but we do make idols in so many other ways. And when we make idols, the things we treasure change… and we begin to treasure worthless things. Instead of laying up treasures in heaven, we become attached to treasures here on earth – treasures such as material things, affirmation from others instead of God or even feeling like we are in control of our own lives.

In my NIV Life Application Bible, it says that an idol can be anything natural that is given sacred value or power. What things do we give power or value to in our lives… money, acceptance, power?

To me rebellion and idolatry go hand in hand. Rebellion has to do with obedience. I have found that I sometimes slip into a quiet rebellion in which I am going about life in my own way instead of the way God would have me go about it. It is then that I have allowed something other than God to have control or power in my life. I have allowed an idol to slip in. The idol may even be my self. I can sometimes become arrogant in that I have a false sense of self-importance or self control. I have to choose once again to be controlled by God’s Spirit. I also have to remember to not make excuses and not try to defend my position to God. Sometimes I do this when I am not really obeying or putting Him first. He sees right through this.

It reminds me of what Saul did in 1 Samuel 15:20 when he did not fully obey God’s commands to destroy everything when he waged war on the Amalekites. He decided to keep the best of the sheep and cattle even though God had told him to destroy everything. Then tried to say it was so he could sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel tells him:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23

Saul decided to keep the good material things from the Amalekites. He became more concerned with what other people thought of him and with doing things his way instead of God’s way. It cost him his kingdom.

When we want to keep the best things for ourselves… we make those things an idol. When we worry more about what other’s think than about what God says… we make other’s opinions an idol. When we try to take control of our lives and do things our own way… we make ourselves an idol.

We like the Israelites often choose our idols above God. In Exodus 32 the people actually do make a golden calf. The notes in the Life Application Bible say:

“Even though Israel had seen the invisible God in action, they still wanted the familiar gods they could see and shape into whatever image they desired. How much like them we are! Our great temptation is still to shape God to our liking, to make him convenient to obey or ignore. God responds in great anger when His mercy is trampled on. The gods we create blind us to the love our loving God wants to shower on us. God cannot work in us when we elevate anyone or anything above Him. What false gods in your life are preventing the true God from living in you?”

Lord help me to not put anything before you in my life. I don’t want to let anything prevent you from showering your love on me. Help me to be obedient to you and to love you with everything I am. Help me to live my life as a pleasing sacrifice to you.


twinklemom said...

Wonderful and inspiring posts..We live in a day and age that anything can so easily become an idol!

Growin' with it said...

Thank you Amy for a beautiful post. One that gently refocuses me on the obvious...self! I especially loved your prayer. It surely is about laying ourself down (sacrificing self) each day, isn't it. It reminded me of Romans 12. I enjoyed hearing from your heart.

Cheri said...

What a great post Amy! It is definetly a day to day of laying yourself down and letting God take control. I don't know why I continue to not always be obedient. I know first hand the miracles that happen when I am. It is hard. Thank you for reminding me that I can be my own idol.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Well said, Amy sometimes false security can be an idol, too, since we put our trust in that. (Guity.) I am looking forward to meeting you!

Celly B said...

Amy, what an awesome post! I had not thought before about others' opinions being an idol, but I think I'm guilty of that! Thanks for pointing that idol out!

Thanks, too, for persisting with my blog. I'm glad you finally got it up!

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Good observations about "self" being an idol. Love the post.

God Bless,
faithful chick

Kimberly said...

Okay, so today, it was your turn to step on my toes! Okay, okay, it's not YOU stepping on my toes...just the plain old truth! I know for sure I make an idol of what others think of me. AND I definitely struggle with just going my own way. Sigh.
I needed this post. I'm gonna go back and pray that prayer you wrote out loud for myself!
Thanks, Amy!
Lots of love,

Jenny said...

Great take on the subject, reading everyone's post on it is making the lesson go further in my heart.

DeAnna said...

Great post, Amy! I have been thinking on that very same wave-length lately.