I know, O Lord,
that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks
to direct his steps.
~ Jeremiah 10:23 ~
Lately the topic of idolatry has been front & center, specifically, the subtle ways that good things might find themselves on the throne of my heart. One pastor described the human heart as an idol-making factory. I’ve been cautioned that eventually one resembles the object of their worship, (Psalm 115:8). I’ve been instructed that with His chosen people, God went a great deal out of His way not to reveal Himself in any form lest they replicate it and begin to worship it instead of Him, (Deuteronomy 4:15). Every person walking the planet worships either God or something God made. And most of us, if painfully honest, would concede that very often we ourselves sit firmly on the throne of our own hearts. Even if this were not so, I know if I’m not very careful, the things I would do for God can end up replacing Him.
The foundation of my existence is my pursuit of Jesus, the life giver, life sustainer & sole source of love. God commands His people and Jesus restates it, “love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul, strength”. Am I missing something or is that utterly comprehensive?! When I have given someone, heart, mind, soul & strength (sit with that list for awhile!), what remains? This is what it means to be at the altar and to place myself upon it. He asks for me, for all of me. I believe I will spend the rest of my life periodically visiting the altar, offering bits of me that have yet to be given, or giving pieces I have already laid down, only to have returned and taken away again.
Is He my first love? Do all other loves and pursuits flow out of the bounty of love I share with Him? Does the work I do for Him consume me more than He does? Have I replaced Him? Was He ever there….on the throne at the core of my being? Where do I hinge my sense of worth or wellbeing? Who do I love best? OK. There are a lot of ways to couch the point.
Bottom line, would God call me back to my First Love, away from idols that have usurped His place in my heart? This is the core question, requiring raw honesty. And it has to be taken to Him, not simply mused about. A loving and gentle God awaits.
He satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul
He fills with good things.
~ Psalm 107:9 ~