I have begun to notice a pretty severe character flaw in my personality. I am not really sure where or when it began but I have a feeling it must have been when I was relatively young as I have become pretty calloused to its ways.
Over the past couple weeks I have been doing a lot of heart searching. Through this searching I have been able to identify a few different things I have been internally struggling with for a good amount of time that have gone unaddressed. With each stone unturned, these confessions have been a very beneficial and positive experience. My understanding of the weights and burdens that have been holding me back, both physically and spiritually, often lead me to submission where I inevitably draw closer to God as the carrier of my burdens. But as I was tearing down a few of the towering pedestals, I soon began to think,
How is it possible that a temple of the Living God is housing so many idols of stone?
As I really began to dwell upon this question, I thought about how much the Old Testament authors wrote about the idolatry of Israel. So much death, so much destruction, so much suffering. All a result of the people disobeying God's first commandment of having no other gods before Him.
I just do not really believe that the Israelites were just being wicked and idolatrous as a result of their desire to sin. I feel like the Israelites began to seek their motivation in other things, things they believed would solve their problems immediately.
When the Israelites grew impatient waiting for Moses, they turned to Aaron and the substitute god he made for them. Israel gave the golden calf their faith, their sacrifices, and their praise. They no longer desired to live for the God that had delivered them out of slavery and oppression in Egypt. Their motivation to live righteous and "be holy as God is holy" diminished with every earring that went into the pile of gold Aaron used in the crafting of that god; the god they believed would make everything right and solve every problem.
How quick are we to take our focus off of Jesus and make our motivation something we can see and feel? At the slightest hint of lost control we remove the rings from our fingers and melt them into something pleasing to our eyes, the only reason it receives our praise and faith being the fact that we can see it. At the smallest shadow of doubt in God's sovereignty, we toss our golden chains and bracelets into the fire hoping the answers we seek will emerge from the smoke and embers of the blazing altar.
When we do not first seek God in prayer and in His Word we are essentially telling God we do not trust Him to work everything according to His purposes and plans. When we do not kneel before His throne at the first sight of trial or hardship and instead cling to the good-intentioned but misguided advice of our friends, we put our faith in man. We do exactly the opposite of what the Old Testament writers clearly state on multiple occasions:
"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation."
"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes."
When we live life dependent on Christ, there is no reason to seek complete motivation in the things or people of this world. He is more than enough to be our provision of ultimate satisfaction and purpose. When we make Christ the sole reason for why we live, everything else will fall into place. Our relationships, our careers, and our ministries become the very outpouring of our reliance and faith in Christ and all that He plans to do in us and through us. There is no longer the selfish wondering of, "How can I get to where I want to be?" but is instead replaced with "How can Christ best use me to show His love?"
We spend far too much time concerned with impressing others, dusting off the ashes of our sacrifices at their altars. It is time that we devote ourselves wholly to the God and Lord that died for us. Is it time that we stop seeking our affirmation and self-worth from those that are not capable of giving or seeing it. In Christ our worth is found in Him alone and to take our eyes from His righteousness is to deny our Lord the honor and reverence He is due.
Break down the idols that lay claim to your praise, honor, and sacrifice. They will never be worthy of the gifts you have to offer. Seek the Lord above all else, the One truly worthy of all we can give to Him.