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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

When I Make Idols, I’ll End Up Like Them

In review of Psalm 115:8 it says, “Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them (GW).

Today’s verse comes from Psalm 115:1-18. The psalmist reminds me that God is alive. He is thinking and caring for me, as such I should put him first in my life.

The psalmist reminds me that it is not about me, but to God’s name, should all the glory be given for his unfailing love and faithfulness. We make idols for ourselves, however they really can’t do anything for us. And those who make idols end up just like them, as are all who trust in them. Instead of idols, I am to trust in the Lord, for he is my helper and my shield. The Lord will bless me when I take him seriously.

I’m also reminded that too often ask God to glorify his name with mine. I may pray for help to do a good job so that my work will be noticed. Or I might ask that a presentation go well so I will get the applause for it. While there is nothing wrong with looking good or impressing others; the problem comes when I want to look good no matter what happens to God's reputation in the process. Before I pray, I should be asking myself, "Who will get the credit if God answers my prayer."

Idols take different forms, (property, clothing, possessions), tangible objects end up getting more value than intangible realities, (spiritual growth, salvation, giving to those in need, spending time with loved ones.) God’s Word tells me that those who spend their time accumulating tangible objects are as foolish and empty as the idols themselves.

This psalm also reminds me that "The Lord remembers me." There are many times when I feel isolated, alone, and abandoned, even by God. However in reality, he sees, understands, cares and thinks about me. When I get depressed by problems or struggling with self-worth, I can be encouraged that God keeps me in his thoughts. If he thinks about me, surely his help is near.

Everyone ends up trusting in something. I can even make good things — like my marriage, my family, or even my ministry in the church — into idols.

But trusting in things other than God can have devastating effects upon life. If I think who I’m with or what I do will make me totally fulfilled, I’m setting myself up for deep disappointment. The Bible reminds me of this in Jeremiah when he says, “Those who make idols are disillusioned” (Jeremiah 10:14 GNT).

But I end up doing it all the time with my career, relationships, and bank account. I often act as if those created things give me meaning in life.

And when I do that, I’m just setting myself up for failure. The Bible says, “The poor, deluded fool … trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask: ‘Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?’” (Isaiah 44:20 NLT)

Those idols are lies. Sadly, idols don’t just stop after they’ve disappointed me, though. Eventually, they enslave me, as well.

The Bible says, “Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them” (Psalm 115:8 GW). Whatever I value the most in life, I’m going to become like. If I value money, I’ll eventually become a materialist. If I value pleasure, I’ll become a hedonist. If I value works, I’ll become a pragmatist. If I value above all else Jesus Christ, I’ll become a Christian.

So if putting something else first in my life warps me, why do I do it?

It’s likely because I want a god I can control. I want to be able to manage him. If I make money my god, I feel as if I can control it. If I make other people my gods, I set out to control them. It makes me feel better.

But I can’t control God. He says, “Don’t reduce me. Don’t try to fit me into your lifestyle. Don’t try to control me.”

Bottom Line:
If you create an idol, you end up just like it.

What this means to me:
If I create an idol, I’ll end up just like it, as everyone else who trusts in it.

In summary, It's not about me, but God. All glory be given to him for his unfailing love and faithfulness. Avoid making idols and trusting in them. Trust in the Lord, for he is the one who can help and provide safety for me. Avoid asking for God to glorify his name with mine. Ask, who will get the credit if God answers my prayer. God doesn't want me to reduce him or try to control him or make him fit into my lifestyle.

Thank you Father for your blessings and loving care for me. Forgive me for the times when I have prayed for your help, received it, but not stopping to give you thanks or recognition of what you have done. I pray this morning Father that you continue to help me manage my teams and my own work loads. Help me to communicate rightly with others or jump to conclusions. These things I pray in your Son Jesus name.