Busting “Friendly” Idols
“Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests?”
~The Lord| Ezekiel 14:3 (NLT)
How many times has it happened to you? After bashing your head trying to figure out why your computer, TV or whatever won’t work, you realize the plug had come loose. Ugh! You reconnect. Tada…All systems go! Sigh…if only you’d checked the connection first. I’m sure the number one instruction in all trouble shooting guides says, “Check to be sure power is connected,” yet how easy it is to forget to check this first!
Power does not flow if it’s not connected and it’s true spiritually too. If you aren’t connected to God, don’t expect much power. Simple. Except that we serve a jealous God; he only works through a clean, uninterrupted connection. Herein lies the problem. We can easily think we are connected, we may be “doing all the right things” but still be disconnected. Though the plug is in the socket, the metal doesn’t touch so well. A gap or corrosion, means no connection. The power is held back. When your requests aren’t being answered, it’s a good idea to check for idols first.
Is an idol corroding your connection to God?
Over the years one of the things that has helped me most as I’ve worked to grow closer to God is to put myself in his shoes. This verse in Ezekiel gives a good dose of God’s perspective. “Why should I listen to their requests?” I could add the thought, “You trust your idol so much, ask it to do what you want.” Can you imagine how God, who created the entire universe, might get a little upset with us putting faith in something so far below him? I get his jealousy. I’d be pissed if I were him. The words “why bother” come to mind. I’m learning to ask myself…
“If I was God, would I answer my prayer?”
After asking this, more often than not, it doesn’t take long for me to see which idol is standing between me and God. I can tell you that I have a couple of idols that are the culprits more often than not. In an odd way, I have become “friendly” with them because I have known them so long. The reality is that idols are tricky and they lull us into becoming comfortable with them. They cloak themselves in camo like, “It’s not the right time.” or “How could I? I don’t know how.” or “I’ve got too many responsibilities.” In each case there is some truth, in each case there is a lot of unbelief in God’s promises.
What is your “friendly” idol?
Friend’s or not, if you want God to answer your requests, it’s time to bust your idol up. Remember, God is jealous. On top of that, he appointed you for a great work while here on Earth and he wants you to get on with it.
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”
~ Jesus Christ| John 15:16-17 (NLT)
Your great work (Life Mission) is the tool God uses to help you identify and bust up your friendly idols. Jesus chose you and has you here to produce lasting fruit. Clinging to your friendly idols prevents fruit production. God hates this. On the other hand, if we are producing lasting fruit, God loves to give us whatever we want and more! Your idol must go.
How do you bust your friendly idol?
There’s only one way – pierce straight through it. It takes a forward Jump into the fruit bearing Life Mission Jesus asked you to do to bust the idol and open the connection so you can receive answers to your requests. It’s as simple as that. The tip of the piercing spear? Sold out belief in one of God’s promises. As soon as you accept his promise, your friendly idol will be run through, busted.
I find it helpful to match a God’s corresponding promise against the idol you face and bring the battle to a head. Opposing each friendly idol is a promise from God that, when not accepted, allows your idol to live. Here are a few of the most common match-up’s (ones I have personally faced):
“I can’t do this financially”
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
“I don’t know how to do this”
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” Psalm 37:5 (NLT)
“I don’t know the way”
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)
You can identify your idol because they hide behind words like “I can’t” or “I don’t” …always a negative. Contrast this with God’s promises, always positive; you might even think too good to be true. Your idol is no match for God. Battle lines drawn; it will end quickly, but only once you decide to surrender.
Do you want God to respond to your requests?
Start by raising the urgency of fulfilling your Life Mission. Ask God to lead you deeper into it. Then sharpen your spear and ready it by spending time in prayer, wrestling with God, pleading with him to help you remove your unbelief. Seek to surrender by taking the Jump of faith to fully accept his promise. Your friendly idol will be busted.
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