Idol worship today is different than it was in the Old Testament. We don't see people bowing to statues or sacrificing things on altars but it is still happening in metaphorical ways. For example, child sacrifice isn't currently done with a fire but rather a relentless pursuit of wordly success that puts children in second place to a parents ambitions, if they can even attain second place.
When I was out for my walk yesterday, I realized that a few years ago one of my idols had fallen of off its pedestal and I was still grieving the loss. I had not realized until this time that idolatry was the root of the problem, but the fall from grace was hard and hurt deeply, and this was why. It was an idol. However, the freedom that came from admitting it to God and myself was exponential.
In Psalm 32:5 David writes:
Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess my transgreessions to the Lord."
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
I'd be willing to bet we all have idols that we just haven't identified as such. I had one that I had clearly never given that label but certainly was by two of its qualifications: a false god and an object of extreme devotion. But with the realization and subsequent confession came a sense of peace I hadn't felt in a very long time.
This week my memory verse is Hebrews 4:12 which talks about what the word of God is capable of doing: Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing.... With those words I finally understood that in order to experience the freedom of forgiveness that restores the heart and mind, you must first admit where your heart and mind have been more divided than devoted. God will take second place to nothing because He wants to be able to give us everything. And until He alone is seated on the throne, the peace-love-joy-patience-goodness-kindness-gentleness-faithfulness-and self-control we want to see manifested in our lives will elude us.
Psalm 16:5 reminds us that the Lord alone is our portion and our cup. He can remain enough, because He is enough, when He is in first place.
This revelation has been nothing short of the grace of God. I've said it many times before, and will continue to proclaim, that He loves us too much to leave us where we are but He will always wait until we are ready to accept what He needs us to know. My prayer is that we will become more keenly aware of the areas where are hearts are more divided than devoted. Because that's the only way we can hope to be made whole.
Lord, I thank You for the truth of Your word that not only are you willing to patiently wait on us, but that You are continually faithful to forgive. Help us to see what our eyes have been blinded to that is keeping us from the life of abundance and freedom that you have planned for us. Give us the strength to seek out what is holding us back, the courage to admit it, and the grace to surrender it. We love you Lord. Amen.