Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Love Idols!!!

I love idols! WHAT? "Rod likes idols?" No, not my spirit-man, but my fleshy-man loves idols! That part of me that's truly dead but likes to make me still think "he’s" in charge and is still attached to the things from which I was rescued -- lust, greed, pride, self, and all the other underside complements to these idols -- things that take the place of my God. My flesh loves idols, but I hate them! 


What the hell is an idol? EXACTLY! Hell thrives on the proliferation of idols – images, altars, pillars, and sacred poles, erected to false gods. An idol is an image, whether physical, imaginary or "distractionary" (Ha! – I love making up new words!) that masquerade as deity by the attention and commitment we give to it (we call that "worship"). Idols were always a distraction to God’s people throughout history and eventually led to the division and deportation of the Hebrew nation by the discipline of God.


You have idols; I have idols -- images that promise comfort, passion, pleasure, ecstasy, intimacy, and exhilaration. Why are idols so bad anyway? Because, while they may seem like a well-deserved distraction allowing you and me to cool-off, calm down, finally sleep, or forget pain and stress for a few minutes, these idols and images lead us quickly from simple distraction to addiction and finally complete destruction! Like the Pied Piper on steroids, these idols come to us with promises they can’t keep. They taste like candy. They feel like pleasure. They promise ecstasy, but in reality they are taking control like a freaking camel spider on its prey! Idols, like methamphetamines, give you a great "first high" so you spend all your time looking for the next fix. But the next fix is less exhilarating than the first, and because of the first experience you do ANYTHING to get your hands on the next one, and the next, and the next.... None of them meets with the same feeling as the first. The destruction is underway. Soon you’re dead. And that really sucks! 


Idols are "the suckiest sucks that ever sucked!" (Thanks Homer!) The purpose of idols is to suck the energy from the spiritual life and the breath from the human soul. So while asking myself how to deal with some of my sucky idols -- recently found lurking closer than I wanted to admit -- I found that to rid myself of soul-sucking idols, I had to get down-right mean! To destroy idols, you and I have to do what God repeatedly told His people to do. He told them to destroy, break, cut-down, and thoroughly break into pieces idols and images of false gods that distracted them from worshiping the ONLY Being that deserves worship – the One True God. 


One such example is found in 2 Kings 11:18, "And all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They thoroughly broke in pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars." The rest of this little picture goes like this: "So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah..." (their idol-loving, hell-promoting-queen) 2 Kings 11:20. The whole idolatry thing is a really important issue to God!


I have to ask myself, and you have to ask yourself, what must be destroyed? What do you need to "chop down" from your computer, or "break" from your DVD player? What do you need to "tear-down and thoroughly break into pieces" from your habits with your time? What foods or drinks can you not even walk by in the store? Change stores! Here’s a good one: what people do you need to eliminate from your life? The Bible indicates that bad company (not the band) destroys good people (Prov. 1:10-19). What are you going to do in those hours you previously spent meeting those idols and images online? Put something good in their place. Don’t go there any more! Don’t go to your computer when you’re bored. Don’t go spend time with him or her or it anymore! Move! Leave and destroy the evidence! Throw it away! Cut the cord! Rip it out the wall! Pull down those images! Set up an automatic-deposit for you paycheck so you don’t have any cash in your hand when you leave work! Don’t even drive by the casino! When the sun goes down, go to bed! Do WHATEVER IT TAKES to destroy the things that are destroying you! 


The Bible says this: "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts." (2 Tim 2:22, NLT)


Is this hard? NO!! It’s IMPOSSIBLE! So pray this prayer every fifteen minutes if you have to:


"God I’m sick to death of this [your idol(s) or image(s)]. Give me the courage to (rip it out, tear it down, pull it over, drive another way, don’t take cash, go to bed when the sun goes down . . . etc.)  This is impossible for me, Jesus, but not for You who lives in me right now! Stand against this [your idol(s) or image(s)] and strengthen me NOW with your power."

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