no other gods

Pastor Sharon spoke on and helped us pray through the 1 Kings 18 text: that the idols we all cling to, things we think we must have to make life work, we would name and through Jesus and his cross confess: ““The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

Idolatry is a theme we run into over and over again in scripture. It is not just bowing down to representations of false gods, but it is putting anything at all, whatever it is in the place of God. I think we can be idolatrous in our hearts (see Ezekiel) far more often than we realize. Whenever we turn to, or depend on, or are devoted to anything other than God in a way in which God is irrelevant and even put on the side, we are in that territory. Of course there is much we can do, and we depend on God’s gifts to us to do them. We need the proper perspective: anything good that we do is through God gifting us, whether in natural terms, or by the Spirit. For the follower of Jesus, as well as the goal for all humans through the gospel, we are to do everything in and by the Spirit of God.

Sometimes we disdain the thought and practice of mentioning themes like idolatry and sin. But to do so means we aren’t being real to who we are, and we are not being faithful to God’s word, scripture. We are failing to deal with the inevitable ongoing issues which affect our heart relationship with and our following of our Lord. That is something I’ve learned anew and afresh at our church through our pastors Jack and Sharon, and especially through Sharon’s prayer ministry in leading us most Sunday mornings in prayer. Paradoxically to be sensitive by the Spirit to such sin will help us avoid that sin all the more. This is all part of the process of becoming more and more like Jesus, together in Jesus for the world.

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.