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Ramblings of a Recovering Idol Maker

What do I need to hear again today? My guess is that it’s something like–

Get knowledge–but don’t depend on your knowledge. Seek to be wise-But don’t depend on wisdom.

Work hard–but don’t depend on hard work. Work smart-But don’t ever depend on your own cleverness and efficiency.

Make plans. But don’t depend on plans. Budget resources. But don’t depend on your own budgets or resources. Save money-But don’t depend on savings. Count numbers–but don’t depend on numbers.

Value people–but don’t depend on people. Make friendships-But don’t even depend on your friends.

Use your political rights and responsibilities– but don’t depend on political solutions for problems that can only be changed from the inside out, and by the grace of God.

There is a phrase in the Psalms that intrigues me. It says that those who make idols become like their idols.

Verses 4-8 of the 115th Psalm say, “Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They cannot talk, though they have mouths, or see, though they have eyes! They cannot hear with their ears, or smell with their noses, or feel with their hands, or walk with their feet, or utter sounds with their throats! And those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”

This Psalm reminds me of a quote I’ve heard:

“What we have at the center of our attention– has us.”

Idols aren’t limited to what ancient people made out of molded clay, wood, gold, or silver. When Paul writes in his letter to the Romans that our tendency is to worship the creation rather than the creator, the implications go far beyond a warning about strange little statues.

What happens if we make a cult of family, friends, work, church, denomination, or political party?

If we are beginning to sound more like our favorite conservative or liberal radio or television talk show host than like a people who are filled with the truth, grace and presence of Christ, maybe we need to think again about that curious statement the Apostle John adds at the end of his first New Testament letter– “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1John 5:21). The King James Version says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

Can you see why I feel like saying, “Hi, my name is Mart. I’m a recovering “idol maker”. I’ve slipped again since our last group meeting…

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16 Responses to “Ramblings of a Recovering Idol Maker”

  1. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Good Morning everyone, Mart, I believe the thought God gives us concerning where my treasures are, that is where my heart will be, or that is what i will be worshiping, or trying to protect, or add too.
    i believe as you said Mart, i am a recovering Idol Maker, never be cured, and can fall back very easily, and because of my human tendicies, probably worshiping some thing as we speak without even realizing it.
    i know i need someone like you to remind me of these human things we can do, and need to stop and examine myself, and asking the Holy Spirit to help me see what, and or if i am putting some thing i desire ahead of your desires.
    So easy to do this, and because of another human trate, i can and usually am able to justify every thing i do, and do not desire to believe i put any thing before God;s desires, but i thank you Mart for bringing this terrible problem to the surface.

  2. GodsBride says:

    “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy…” I hear what you’re saying, sir, yet, I know with all my heart that IF we “take heed to ourselves” and what the Word of God says, day by day, God will strengthen us. That’s not to say we don’t mess up, but I know that IF I “fall”, it is by my own choosing. God is able to keep us, and there is NO temptation that can come our way that God won’t help us through (He’s already “been there, done that”), IF we allow the Spirit of God that lives within us to guide us. Either we trust Him to “keep” us or we don’t. We are suppose to be “new creatures” now; not above falling, but intending to SUBMIT to the will of God so that He can enable us to NOT fall. If we allow the Holy Ghost to lead us, we won’t go wrong. When we do (present company ESPECIALLY included), it is because we chose our own way, and refused to submit to God’s gentle, yet stedfast leading. If we’re going to trust Him, we must trust Him ALL the way, in EVERY thing! We can’t make excuses; flesh and self MUST submit to the authority of the Most High (LORD, please help me!) Just thought I’d put that out there.

  3. pegramsdell says:

    Hi, my name is Peg. I’m a recovering idol maker also. I’m sure my last slip up was today sometime. And it’s still early. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”…Thanks, I needed reminding.

  4. daisymarygoldr says:

    “Recovering idol maker”(yucky! not the pics but the idols:)- admire the boldness in your humbleness as I am unable to muster the courage to address myself as that…

    However, “What we have at the center of our attention– has us.” is very true at least for me. It never ceases to amaze me that even in my ardent desire to worship God and Him alone, my worship song/music itself becomes the object of my worship or my very zeal to convert everyone to Christ subtly overtakes my passion for Christ.

    Every ‘ideal’ becomes an ‘idol’ when it substitutes God. Thankfully, we have the prodding of the Holy Spirit who constantly keeps us aware of 1 John 5:20 and brings us back to worshiping the only true God to whom belongs all glory. “…all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them”(Isaiah 43:7)!

  5. BruceC says:

    Bingo…guilty as charged once again. Those idols you speak of Mart I refer to as little gods. I have a couple of outdoor hobbies that I enjoy, but to be truthful I must admit to spending far too much time, energy, and money on their pursuit. Now my health is not what it used to be and the Lord has really “shook” me as to what truly is important. Some of the most seemingly harmless things in life can slowly and quietly grow into “little gods” and that is where the real danger is. Even our work and activity for the Lord can itself become one of these,if you catch my drift. So we have to be on guard for these “little foxes” all the time and look at ourselves and see where and why our energy and time is going. God Bless!

  6. poohpity says:

    Does that mean that we can even make an idol of ourselves if we are constantly looking at our behavior and desiring perfection? I believe that is possible. Our constant focus would have to be on God and gosh I really fall short on that. Gosh I would have to say I am a bit confused sometimes on what is demanded of us.

  7. Gena says:

    Head hanging in shame and feet shufflin’…. Hi I’m Gena and I’m a recovering idolizer too – not necessarily objects~ but ME. It’s always about me me me and how *I* feel or think. No wonder sometimes I wish I could be somewhere else ~ anywhere, but ME! ;)

  8. lilu1314h says:

    “Dear Children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1John 5:21).

    This verse appeared to me 2 days ago, perhaps God is reminding me for His place in my heart.

    Can we say that we are trying to make an idol, when we are trying to be in control with our own strength?

    The most difficult part in life is to submit to God during the storm. I hope that God in His mercy will keep me to be still & submit to Him completely regardless of any circumstances.

  9. solace says:

    Guilty! I strive to be perfect in the eyes of God but everyday all I think about is myself and my problems. Thanks Mart for the wake up call. God bless!

  10. 1000mike says:

    Good Evening!
    AS Alfred Hitchcock used to say, with tongue firmly planted next to cheek!
    Idols indeed!~ Yep! Been there done that & I bought the T shirt too!
    I have found my attention & energy OFTEN wandering into other things & ideas & people that for a season or longer have become my Idol; for a while ’cause I liked it, or ’cause I wanted it…some Idol habits were easier to break than others….
    In my journeys I have found that IF I can refocus my attention on the CREATOR GOD long enough & hard enough THEN & only then can I escape the Idol worship…Mind you I cannot always do this BUT once in a while a bit of HIS Grace comes my way & I can break the spell…
    Idols are Strong & the Habit is Tough to break!
    It has been said “Be careful what you wish for..-You just might get it!”
    Idols, for me were/are like that!
    Take Care,

  11. Basil Smith says:

    Good one Mark,
    I remember a definition of humility I saw once on a door, amongst other ‘true and false’ entries.
    ‘Humility is not self-abasement, but self-forgetfulness’.

    Worrying about whether we measure up can confuse our faith, through which God imparts to us His righteousness, by distracting us from ‘looking unto Jesus’.

    Reminds me of the little girl who, when asked what she does when the devil comes knocking at the door, said ‘I ask Jesus to answer the door’.

  12. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Good Morning everyone, Mart, As i saw the Idol Maker blog still on this morning, the Holy Spirit has helped me along with thoughts from God, if ( IF ) i will not just believe them, but make them a part of my life.
    I have mentioned this thought before, Proverbs 3:5,6, Trust the Lord, stop trying to use my own way of thinking, and acknowlege God in every thing I do, and God promises He will guide my life.
    One of mans sayings is practice makes perfect, but as humans we know this is not possible, but i know the more i acknowlege God in what i am doing throughout each day, the easier it becomes for me to do this, and when i do this, there is a peace about what i am about to do that cannot be explained, and thereby i am more assured i am not worshiping what i am about to be doing.
    I always ask the Holy Spirit to help me, I ask the Holy Spirit to do what ever it will take for me to acknowlege God in what ever i am about to do.
    You may say, i cannot do this all day long, that is right , but you can do it once, really desiring for God to be guiding you, God knows, if your desire is true, you will desire to do this more often, ( Gauranteed ).

  13. abqbishop says:

    I have always asked myself “Why is it that the study of God’s Word and 24/7 service to him is not always what I want to do 100% of the time?” Other interests in this life seem to be an obstacle to that. Are these other “interests” idols? God did not make us one-dimensional beings, and I find it interesting that we all have them yet were also suppose to render ALL of our time and effort towards God. A duality I’ve struggled with for years.

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