Idols part 2

Monday, October 20, 2008
The previous post about Idols was taken from a song that we sung in church. I was later thinking about what it said, about taking our idols off of the throne. The more I thought about it, the clearer the metaphor became.

Thrones are places for things that control us. Kings sit on thrones because they control us (that is, if we lived 500 years ago). In fact, what happens when a king's power is taken away? He is dethroned! Judges sit on a throne because they control our fate. God sits on a throne because... well, because he is both a judge and a king (or would that be THE judge and THE king?).

Isn't this what an idol is? How else would you define an idol than "something that controls your life"? If something controls your life, than it is an idol, if something doesn't control your life, than it isn't an idol. I think that in this culture, the word "idol" has been changed because of pop culture; things like "American Idol" make the word "idol" something that is good, while the Biblical definition of idol is something completely different. Don't mistake superstars and idols.

Lets take this metaphor one step further. Not only is the throne the seat of something that has rules over us, but the throne itself is often an object that controls us. It is often made of (or covered with) gold or rubies, so that the subject is envious/greedy of the owner of the throne. It is large, larger than it has to be to hold an overweight king, so that it always reminds you who is in control. It is always on a pedestal, so that the ruler will be looking down on his subject, while the subject will have to look up at the ruler.

Isn't it true that idols often bring baggage with them? Idols are covered in gold, they make you envious of others. They are giant, they lord over you. And they are always higher than you, always making you think lower of yourself than you should.

All idols sit on a throne. All idols control our lives, and bring baggage. What is your idol? What is controlling your life? What can you give up to be free to make the right decisions in life? Continue to pray to God that he help you to dethrone your idols, to strip them of all power, so that they have no rule in your life.



Matt said...

Keep in mind that idols aren't things that happen to us. Idols are things that we want. Idols are things that we WANT to control us. We usually don't want to give them up. They are things that we PLACE in positions of worship for us. They are things that we ENJOY having to distract us from God and His Kingdom. The reality is that we are always only worshipping ourselves. We are giving ourselves what WE want. We are worshipping what WE want. The reality is that God is the one who is worthy of kingship and worship, not us. God's kingdom is our goal, not our own.

Here's something else cool that I learned recently. Presbyterians teach this more clearly than others; my old church didn't teach it at all: everyone knows that Jesus died for our sins, and everyone knows that He lived the perfect life, but they only teach half of salvation. Yes, he died to forgive our sins, but He also gave us righteousness.

This is an important distinction because we can't work for righteousness (a good standing with God). Even when we're saved we can't. We have already been declared righteous ("you now are acceptable in My sight, because I said so"). There's nothing else we can do to be more righteous because our righteousness comes from Jesus. So the rest of what we're doing here is sanctification (being made into the Bride of Christ). But we can't do sanctification either. God has to perform that work in us.

So again, I come back to "look at God." He's worthy of our undivided attention, and that's all we can really do anyway.