Most of us don’t have wooden or stone idols. In fact, a large proportion of us have turned to Christ for salvation, but are we truly resting in His hands? Or have we merged our securities and marginalized our lives? Have we placed conditions on our trust.
I trust God to provide, but I must keep my savings account at this level
I trust God to watch over my children, but I must watch them diligently
I trust God with my marriage, but my spouse must ….
Oh, how hard it is to truly surrender! Especially in some of these gray, even biblical areas. The Bible tells us to handle our money wisely, to save for the future, to diligently raise and train our children, to submit to our spouses in humility and love.
Those are great things, but they are not strong enough to carry our burdens, to rescue us from storms. And when we trust in those things, we are really trusting in ourselves–in our abilities.
But we all know how far we get in our own abilities, right?
Prayerfully read over the following passage and ask God to show you what idols you have allowed to weasel into your life.
Isaiah 44 (NLT)
“But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
2 The Lord who made you and helps you says:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
O dear Israel, my chosen one.
3 For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
and to irrigate your parched fields.
And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
and my blessing on your children.
4 They will thrive like watered grass,
like willows on a riverbank.
5 Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the Lord.’
Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’
Some will write the Lord’s name on their hands
and will take the name of Israel as their own.”
The Foolishness of Idols
6 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:
“I am the First and the Last;
there is no other God.
7 Who is like me?
Let him step forward and prove to you his power.
Let him do as I have done since ancient times
when I established a people and explained its future.
8 Do not tremble; do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?
You are my witnesses—is there any other God?
No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
9 How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
These prized objects are really worthless.
The people who worship idols don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
10 Who but a fool would make his own god—
an idol that cannot help him one bit?
11 All who worship idols will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can make a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame.
12 The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool,
pounding and shaping it with all his might.
His work makes him hungry and weak.
It makes him thirsty and faint.
13 Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood
and draws a pattern on it.
He works with chisel and plane
and carves it into a human figure.
He gives it human beauty
and puts it in a little shrine.
14 He cuts down cedars;
he selects the cypress and the oak;
he plants the pine in the forest
to be nourished by the rain.
15 Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire.
With it he warms himself and bakes his bread.
Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it
and makes himself a god to worship!
He makes an idol
and bows down in front of it!
16 He burns part of the tree to roast his meat
and to keep himself warm.
He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
17 Then he takes what’s left
and makes his god: a carved idol!
He falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” he says.
“You are my god!”
18 Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19 The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20 The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
I love that last verse for it speaks of an honest heart evaluation, something we each need … daily.
Let’s talk about this!
Are you fearfully clinging to something God is asking you to surrender? Are you building safety nets God might want you to release?
Stop for a moment and focus on God’s unchanging nature. List ten things you know to be true about God. Now, stop to remember all He has done. List five to ten times when God came through–when He provided a friend when you needed one, a check at just the right time, strength when you felt ready to break.
Does remembering who God is and what He’s done make surrender easier?
Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about perseverance and how we can do that during “the waiting period.”