One of the greatest discoveries I have made lately, and rates in the Top 5 life-changing truths for following God, is that we are, as Martin Luther pointed out, idol factories. Let me point out right away – this realization did not come through my ability. It was an in-breaking of God. The Holy Spirit is responsible and not my own heart.
Consider this from Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!”, and then we will go into this further…
But a holy soul, whose eyes are divinely opened, so sees that superlative goodness, beauty, and excellency in Christ–that all other things, which are good with an inferior goodness, seem to him as dross and dung! “But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things! I consider them rubbish,” things cast to dogs, or dog’s-food, “that I may gain Christ!” Philippians 3:7-8
I have been miserable for quite a while. Years, in fact. Just because you are a child of God, you are not immune to difficulty and heart-struggles. I would go so far to say that you probably have so much more of them, and of even greater intensity!
The unregenerate can be envied if you aren’t careful – they do not fall into periods of spiritual agony over their lack of joy and closeness to God at times. They don’t miss what they never had!
In his wisdom and by the leading of God, our pastor, T L Walters, of Alleghany Baptist Church, has been teaching on applying Gospel truths to our lives. He also highly recommended Timothy Keller’s book Counterfeit Gods. After I mentioned to my wife that we needed to purchase that book, she placed an order on Amazon.com, and right away I set to reading it.
In as little as two weeks, I have read more than halfway through it. It has so much impact. God is showing me all sorts of things…things that sit below the surface, in close shadows, just out of the light, yet nearby enough to mess up your life!
The premise of the book is that you have things all around you and through you that take the place of God in your life – counterfeit gods. Oh sure, we look at the first of the Ten Commandments and think that we are surely not bowing the knee to some created object or system. I mean come on, we aren’t that ignorant…or are we?
When you are shown the forms of idolatries, the many ingrained ways that we make gods of our choosing – even out of good things, like family, ministry, hard work and morality – then we slowly come to understand why we are warned of this predisposition of our nature. And it’s a killer. It kills your soul.
As I have found, it snuffs out your reason for living at all, and that borders into despair – save for the grace of God.
There is an old rock song lyric, “I been to the edge…And there I stood and looked down”. Absolutely.
The worship of counterfeit gods does that. Takes you to the edge. It’s not limited to just us personally, either. As a nation, as a church, as a political system, as a world power, as a culture, as a child of God, we are indeed at that place. We are killing ourselves and we are killing each other.
Solutions abound, but only through honesty and the Gospel of Jesus.
I have more on this, so please be watching your feed for more posts.