Idolatry- What is OUR Golden Calf?
Today one of our foremost Bible teachers illuminates us on "Idolatry."
Now, here is a verse that we all know and can easily quote, but so few believers seem to know just what it means.
I want to cut to the chase on the subject of idolatry, not because it is a characteristic of a lost and dying world, but because the Church herself is presently so involved in it.
I do not want you think that I like 'picking' at faults among the Body of Christ, because I don't, and I do not believe in seeking out problems just to have something to write about.
The fact is, though, that many, many of today's Christians have such misconceptions of the nature of God, that they do not realize that we require the leading of the Holy Spirit- even in terms of how to worship our Lord.
Because of these misconceptions, believers (and non-believers as well) will often reach for 'tangible' objects to worship in place of our Holy God.
Sometimes this is done with the best of intentions, but it is idolatry nonetheless, and must be thoroughly avoided.
There is absolutely no substitute for the living God in the lives of believers, and we must see that.
Not our own ideas of God, not 'images' of Him, but Almighty God Himself- as He IS, not as we would have Him.....
The Israelites had such a tough time just being without Moses for a few days that they managed to convince Aaron to "make us gods, which will go before us" (Exodus 32:1-6).
A golden calf was the pathetic result.
What an insult to our Holy, Righteous God!
You would think we'd have learned over the years that only God could satisfy our spiritual hunger, yet history is replete with examples and stories of people attempting to reach God in their 'own way', completely ignoring the fact that "God is Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth".
I believe that the Lord has hidden the ark of the covenant purposely, for He knew that if it had been found, generations of people would have worshipped IT instead of HIM...
The shroud of Turin is a prime example of believers worshipping something other than Christ.
So what if it is genuine?
He's not there!
He's not in the empty tomb either, and there's nothing sacred about a tomb, no matter who was laid in it.....
Did you know that Adolf Hitler searched for years for the spear that pierced Jesus' side?
Did he think that it would somehow bless or protect him? It was a stinkin' spear, for goodness sakes! .
Do you remember the big movie, "The Robe"?
If not, you can probably guess what it was about.
But the robe that Jesus wore had no power- HE had power.
Why has that always been so difficult for the Church to understand?
I'm so glad that there were no cameras in the days when Jesus walked the earth, for if t here had been, then photos of the Savior would have been worshipped, sold, looked to for help, and put in peoples' tunics for good luck- and you know that!
I've previously mentioned that there are people in certain countries who actually whip and even allow themselves to be nailed to a cross for a while during 'special' times of the year in order to get closer to the Lord.
What a ridiculous display of unbelief!
Why is it so hard to believe that HE took our punishment, and that none of our own efforts are of any value whatsoever?
We believe the Gospel, yet we feel that we must add this or that to it, don't we?
It's so difficult and so cutting to our pride to simply believe and receive what our blessed Savior has done for us, so we look to other things to make us 'spiritual' IN ADDITION to the cross and resurrection.
How can you truly adore Him when you can't even believe Him?....
2 Corinthians 5:19 "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
Now, what does He desire that our response be?
The next verse tells us- "Be ye reconciled to God."
So simple, right?
Then why do we insist on adding to His wonderful work?
When you attempt to add to the cross and resurrection, you take away from them.
When you try adding to God's grace (and there are so many ways that we try), then you take away His grace, because you refuse to see that HIS work is complete and quite sufficient to have dealt with your sin FOREVER.
That refusal, beloved, is IDOLATRY, and it is a stench in the nostrils of God!
Stop trying- start believing.
Seek HIS face.
Worship HIM in Spirit and in truth.
Adore Him and only Him.......
I'm going to leave you with a beautiful scripture from the psalms.
"When thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." (Psalm 27:8)...
Make that your prayer as you worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
God bless you,
Pastor Jim Ewing