18 Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19 The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20 The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He 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?”
Recently, the Lord asked me to fast social media- again. A week into the elimination of checking news feeds, notifications, friend and follower requests, ministry and blog stats, I realized something extraordinary….joy had returned to the mundane tasks of my life! I had previously assumed I knew God’s reason for the fast, but I now know I was once again leaning on my own understanding….and believing a lie.
The truth, which He illuminated in His Word today exposed an idol that I had been holding in my hand; my cell phone, with its many social networking apps.
Throughout my journey as a disciple of Jesus and leader of other followers, I’ve tried diligently to find my love, worth and acceptance from God alone. Unfortunately, there have been times in which I’ve been deceived into believing the number of followers, likes on our page, “friends,” or comments on my blogs is an indicator of how much I am loved and how “successful” I am in leading others. Without even consciously realizing it, I have been a poor deluded fool. I have feed on ashes, by measuring a block of wood, drawing a pattern on it, carving it into a human figure (Isaiah 44:13) and continuing to worship it.
Jesus wasn’t concerned with being liked by “friends,” networking to obtain more followers, holding larger fish and loaves conferences, or writing #trendy blog posts. His life focus was entirely about loving God & surrendering His will in complete obedience to Him. By doing so, His soul was filled to overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galations 5:22-23). You see, Jesus felt loved, worthy and accepted by His Father- regardless of how others adored…or hated Him.
Through no effort of His own, Jesus became a famous preacher, teacher, healer and “friend” of many…..yet He always, always, always diverted His praise to the One in which it was due; the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of man and woman, the Creator of me, the Creator of my “ministry.”
“If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get anywhere near Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the Gospel will end in making me a traitor to Jesus; I prevent the creative power of His Redemption from doing its work.”
-Oswald Chamber, My Utmost for His Highest
Father, thank you for ever so gently exposing the lie of the enemy in my soul. Obliterate my pride. Destroy the idol that I have created. Teach me to look to you alone to fill me. Help me to lay down my life for others– regardless if they adore me or hate me, just as your Son did. Thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Amen