Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Confession: I Worship Idols

Want to know a secret?

Hitting "publish" on my blog often makes me cringe. Those closest to me know my struggles. And they know that walking out the words I write isn't a given for me. A lot of the reason I blog is so I can go back and read my own words and remember what the Lord is teaching me. I am just so quick to forget.

I don't have faith figured out. A lot, okay most, of the time I would venture to say I don't trust Jesus with my life or my kids. Clinging to stuff, people, and my own way tends to be more my thing. Oh yes, I know I trust Him more than I used to. But there is going to be a lifelong struggle against my own idol-creating heart. 


This past week I have been reading Exodus 32-33, where the Israelites are creating and worshipping the golden calf. Just forty days earlier, the Israelites had promised "All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do." (Ex 24:3). Yet, here they are mobbing Aaron saying "Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." (Ex 32:1). 

The Israelites forgot that it was God who brought them out of Egypt. God could have done without Moses. He could have used anyone he pleased. He is God in Heaven; He does whatever He pleases. (Psalm 115:3). It wasn't about Moses. It was about God. 

The Israelites could even see God's presence on the mountain. The appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. (Ex 24:17) Evidence of Him was right there in front of their eyes. But, they didn't care. They were restless because Moses was gone and their focus was in the wrong place.

And I am an Israelite. As I studied, I felt myself shrinking with shame. God has carried me in miraculous ways in the last six months. I have seen his presence in the things He has done. And I have said yes, I will follow and do everything you command. 



And I demand a god I can "see." As if a god small enough to be seen with my eyes would actually be powerful enough to be God and accomplish the things I really need my God to do. In practical ways, I abandon worship of the Creator and begin worshipping the created. It is flat-out idolatry - loyalty to anything or anyone that leads us to disobey God. (Did I get that definition right, Lori Cavell?). I use things and people to feel secure or to be distracted from feeling restless or down. Idolatry of relationships and carbs and coffee and daily habits and sugar and shopping and wasting time - just to name a few. 

“Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” (John Calvin). And I am in no way exempt from this. I don't know about you, but I am a rebellious and idol-loving person. Ironically, the person I sin against in my idol-worship is the only person who could pay the penalty for my sin. So, I am thankful that if I confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).

I am thankful that I don't have to shrink down with shame over my idolatrous heart. Oh, my idol worship is flat out wrong. It might look more acceptable and presentable than worshipping a golden calf. I can dress it up and make it look moral, righteous and respectable. But, my idolatry is just as wrong as the golden calf.  It will continue to be a struggle for the rest of my life, which leaves me grateful that I can always have confidence as I approach the true, living God on His throne of grace. Instead of running away and hiding from the God who I have offended, I can turn and run to Him, cast down my idols, and turn back to the living God again and again. 


Pam said...

(Trying again so bear with me if this duplicates)

...and she hit it out of the park! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, a grand slam!

Thank you.

Jocelyn said...

Thank you, Pam!!!!