Have you ever thought yourself to be free from idolatry? Do you believe that idolatry has been reserved only for the most primitive of people on the other side of the world? If you do . . . think again!
Idolatry, by definition, is simply replacing the worship of anything in creation instead of the One who created it. It is hardwired into our fallen nature to repeatedly overlook our Creator and grasp at His creation. Take a look at this list of idols and see if any of them sound like you:
- We seek our identity in our work.
- We seek our power in our position.
- We seek our security in our finances.
- We seek our significance in our peer approval.
- We seek our purpose in our kids.
- We seek our pleasure in our spouses.
- We seek our meaning in our ministry.
Created things were never intended to give you what only your Creator can provide. Every promise idols make smells like smoke and comes from the pit of hell, as Steve Brown likes to say. Idols simply cannot deliver on what they promise!
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen! (Romans 1:25)
The great replacement is the replacement of God with anything smaller than God. We replace the supernatural with the natural. We replace the spiritual with the physical. We replace the eternal with the temporal. And we all do it far more often than we would like to admit. Think back over the past week: what have you been pursuing and praying for? What caused you to get up early and stay up late?
I’ve said this before: many of the things we go after are, in fact, good things. Work is good. Family is good. Money is good. Ministry is good. These good things only become bad things when they become ultimate things and replace the only One worth pursuing: Jesus. Everything we look for in creation can only be given to us in our Creator. We are to find our identity in Him and not in our work. We are to find our power in Him and not in our position. We must find our security in Him and not in our finances. We should find our significance in Him and not in the approval of others. We must find our purpose in Him and not in our kids. We are to find our pleasure in Him and not in our spouses. We must find our meaning in Him and not in our ministries. It’s all about Him!
The Gospel is the cure for putting the Creator back in His rightful place in our lives. The more we marinate in the truths of the Gospel and the finished work of Christ, the less we move toward created things. What must always remember that everything we need we already have in Jesus. As my beloved friend and remarkable pastor likes to remind us: “Jesus plus nothing equals everything.”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!