We heard a portion of a Tim Keller sermon at a church seminar this last Sunday, and he talked about our idols, which can be our identity, security, power, etc. Keller said that an idol is a false, pseudo-salvific treasure, and that every treasure other than God enslaves us. Those idols demand that we do anything to get them. But Jesus is the One treasure who died to purchase us. This makes Him our ultimate treasure when we understand that we are His ultimate treasure.
Keller’s talk has had me thinking more about my “idols.” I like to think I don’t have any, that maybe I’ve struggled with things in the past, but I’ve progressed to the point that those things are done away with! Ha! I really think that they may be something that will regularly creep up upon us and that we will have to deal with over and over again in our lives. But as we learn more about who God is and as He becomes our all, we might move more quickly past those struggles as we speak His truth and refuse to wallow there in them.
I looked up the word “idol” (yes, dictionary.com!) and a couple of the definitions struck me:
- a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom
- a figment of the mind; fantasy.
I’ve been pondering James 1:17 the last couple of weeks, about there being no variation or shifting shadow with our heavenly Father. I’ve also been pondering Romans 12:2 about being transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we can prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Both those verses make me think of something solid, unchanging, perfect, good — just the opposite of an idol that has no substance, is a figment of the mind, a phantom!
One other thing I’ve been wondering about: do you think idols are born out of our losses and wounds? Where we have been hurt or feel a wound, we seek to fill it with something. And when it’s not God, it is an idol, something that can’t ever fill that need or void, but can give the image that it does. We rob ourselves of all God can do to fill those places and free us when we seek other things to do so.
I’ve been personally struggling this week with one of those old losses that resulted in an empty place that God has more than filled. But lies often come to tell me something false, and I need to go back to square one all over again. Praise Him that He is more than faithful to expose those false ways of thinking and place me again on a firm foundation.
“Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”