Yesterday we “finished” the Idols series. I use quotes because we never fully cast off these idols until Jesus returns, do we? Our time on this earth is a constant battle against our flesh and the desires in us to set something other than God up as God. We hit only a few these past few weeks and there are many others that have been brought to mind in that time.
Oaks family, I’m grateful for you. These haven’t been the easiest to get through. They cause us to consider our own hearts, and then our flesh causes us to blame others and talk about how they are the problems and not us. Our hearts certainly are weird places, aren’t they?
Well, with this series behind us, I wanted to give three observations from the series . . .
- Many of us have the same problems. I’m sure you expected it, but our heart idols are not that varied. People set their families up as God, they desire control and comfort, they get caught up in materialism, they seek sex from the wrong people and places, and they love LSU sports. This is both a comfort and a concern. The comfort is that we can all help each other along the way to Christlikeness. The concern is that we are ok with these idols because everyone else has them so the need to turn from them isn’t that significant.
- Ruts run deeply. To think that turning from idols happens without a battle is a mistake. They come flooding back, sometimes with more power than before. We are used to them, and often we live our lives in such a way that we have forgotten their existence—it has just become assumed. In fact, I do think that our idolatry has dulled us to God’s activity in our midst and it is something we need to be praying about. However, though that is an issue, I am still full of hope for us.
- We want to live freely for God. From this past service it was evident to me—we want to live with more freedom. Some of us needed the reminder to put Jesus first, others of us needed to realize we weren’t putting Jesus first. However, I believe fully that you all don’t want to live worshipping an idol. You want Jesus. That encourages me—and it should encourage you
If I could say just one thing in conclusion: don’t shut down. It is easy to say “Ok, that’s over. On with life.” Rather, let’s forge ahead together. Let’s encourage each other time and time again that Jesus is better, his grace is certain, and our hope rests in him.
It is appropriate to end the same way that John ends his epistle. Succinct and sufficient.
1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.