How to fight idolatry of good things (pt 1)

Marriage, sex, community, family, love: good things.

God created these things to reveal Himself.  They’re supposed to look like Him.

The thing is – that makes it really easily to confuse them with gods.

People don’t mistake monopoly money for real money.  It is the bills that look the MOST like actual cash that we end up banking on as if they are the real deal.

It’s the same with coveting and deceitful desires.  Your heart is prone to worship the things that look the most like the One you were made to worship.

So what do you do?  How do you fight desires for good things?  Those who make an idol out of their spouses and kids, can’t just leave.  Women who crave motherhood shouldn’t avoid children.  Believers who cling to community more than God must not eject on community.

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The answer lies in desiring God so greatly that all other desires are dwarfed in comparison.

Want community, want marriage, want love, want kids.  Just want God so much that the feelings you have for those things look like hate in comparison.

The other day I had a convo with God where I was like: look.  I need you to help me figure this out. The rest of my life is gonna be filled with good things.  I can’t just avoid ‘em.  I gotta learn to cultivate a heart that treasures you so deeply that nothing can compete with you.  

So what’s the plan, God?   

I dug into Scripture.  I wrestled. I prayed.

And I felt at the end of it like God gave me the challenge to set aside time each week to meditate on two truths.

Here is the first (and tomorrow I will post the second):

First, consider the insufficiency of the good thing

If I want to distinguish between cash and counterfeit money, I have to get good at seeing their differences.

God is utterly unique.  All of the things we treasure, when held up next to Him, no matter how great – show themselves insufficient.

I don’t care how great the people and gifts in your life are, they can’t offer you the one promise that, according to Hebrews, is the source of your contentment and peace: God’s promise to never leave you nor forsake you.

“The husband whispers in the ear of his wife, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ but he forgets the hour of death when he must go from all below.

The mother, as she presses her child to her bosom, says ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ but she knows not how soon that little child may be an orphan to need another’s care.

Friends says to friend, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ forgetting how changeable human friendships are, for many are the hearts that have been torn asunder by vows, honestly whispered at the time, which have been forgotten through the lapse of years, or have been treacherously broken.

‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you,’ is not a promise for mortal lips to utter! Transient beings like ourselves must not venture to say, ‘I will never do this or that,’ for, alas, we know not what we may do, or may not do!  Even though we think we shall never prove to be traitors, yet traitors we may prove to be.” – Spurgeon

Today meditate on this question: how is Jesus better than marriage?  How is He better than kids?  Better than the most awesome community?

Consider the insufficiency of even the greatest gifts.

Comments

  1. I mean, we are like writing the same blog posts and learning the exact same things.

  2. Thanks fabs, I recently came to realize I’ve been idolizing my church community and desiring them more than God. :( This post is very timely and helpful. Thanking God for you right now :)

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