Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Idol

I think we would all agree that church is a good thing. Doing life with a body of believers is a blessing, indeed. At the church’s core….Christ-followers can find comradery, encouragement, resources, prayer warriors, teachings, insights, counsel, service, and love. Coming together with other Christians to worship and learn and grow and do – is a beautiful, God-designed thing.
But can church…yes even church…become an idol?
Absolutely. I’m guilty of it myself. It’s easy to do, really. When a church has an excellent praise and worship band – it’s tempting to start idolizing the talents rather than the Talent-Giver. The same can be true for anointed and effective preachers, teachers, and leaders. Even large, fancy, well-built church buildings become the object of our admiration over the One that made it all possible in the first place.
It’s so like Satan to distract and consume and enamor ….even with good, God-given gifts. That’s trickery at it’s best.  And we shouldn’t fall for it.
To illustrate – take a look at Revelation.
(Ch.1 v.16) In his (Jesus’) right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
(v.20) As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
I once read a commentary* that pointed out something so interesting about these passages…
If you were seeing this vision as John did – you would see Jesus holding seven stars in His hand. The stars represent the angels of the churches. His face would be shining as bright as the sun. And He would be standing amongst the lampstands. The lampstands represent the churches themselves. If you were seeing this - yes…the seven lampstands would be bright. The seven stars would be even brighter. But compared to the face of Jesus….shining like the sun….the lampstands and stars pale in comparison. The churches and the angels are beautiful…but compared to our Savior shining like the sun…they are but a mere nightlight.
 While the brightness that the church gives off illuminates the darkness around it….Let’s not get so impressed with the church that we ignore Jesus.
It’s not about us – it’s all about Him. Let’s make sure our worship sees it as so.
*Guzik, David. "Study Guide for Revelation 1." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006. 2011. 16 Jun 2011.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I wrote a devotional for my church's devo booklet this week. I thought I'd post it here as well. Enjoy - and have a lovely week :)


We’re all susceptible to it. We all have a tendency to drift toward the temporary, man-made, and carnal. It might look different for you than it does for me. Yours might take a different form than mine does – but it all has the same effect. It all leaves you lacking and yearning for more.

It’s idol worship. And it’s serious. Not because I say so – but because God does. Take a look:

Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal:
I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:4

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD:
Repent and turn away from your idols and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Ezekiel 14:6

In addition, Ezekiel 14:5 mentions that Israel was “estranged” from the Lord because of its idol worship. And we are no different. We might not worship golden calves or kneel at worthless shrines…but we have the same issue. We worship and idolize sports, people, talents, celebrities, technology, relationships, time, food, addictions, and so on.

No matter what kind of temporary satisfaction and security we receive from those things....what God boasts is better.  Always. When we surrender…when we hand over the defiled items we are idolizing…what He offers us in return is soul-satisfying goodness. Every time.

Anything we are holding onto…will simply leave us hanging.

But when we worship the only One worthy of worship – we are made whole. We find healing and love and contentment and joy. The Lord doesn’t shun idol worship because He is a rule-keeping, worship-hoard. He shuns idol worship because it leaves us darkened, unfulfilled, and distracted from a real relationship with Him. And nothing can match that. Absolutely nothing.

Father, forgive us for anything we are holding onto that keeps us from You. Encourage us to put away those things that we have put on Your throne instead of You. Because You are enough! Strengthen us – let us turn towards you – and let it be so much more satisfying than anything else. We praise You. In Jesus, Amen.