May 31

Idolatry:  I don’t want to stop

       Something inside of me wanted to accept (passively) but could not accept (aggressively) the party line as I was growing up.  I was just a kid and the adults knew better than I.  But I had needs that were not being met that left me empty and wanting.

       When I was old enough to understand, I came to realize I (secretly) believed that:

  • God was no fun
  • God withholds
  • God can’t be trusted (God is fickle)

        As a young adult I discovered I could meet some of my needs by fantasizing and looking at pornography.  The psychological rush seemed to fill up my emotional needs for a while, but the hunger soon returned.  As the addiction took hold I discovered how hungry and needy an idol can be.

       This idolatry was not the boldfaced kind of the pagan “Gentile” nations.  This idolatry was more like the nation of Israel’s propensity to add other gods along with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The Israelites fell into idolatry and kept images from other pagan religions in their houses.  Prophets would speak out against their rampant idolatry and warn them of looming war and possible slavery.

       And just as the Israelites resisted these messages and ignored the warnings, I too had fallen into a rigid mid-set that resisted the warnings from God. 

       But I had a better idea.  I had a method of “worship” that left me feeling more in control.  I felt more self-reliant.  Relying on God made me feel weak, and I wanted a God that made me feel stronger.  I guess you could say that I was ‘hell-bent’ on fulfilling these needs myself.  And as I continued to try to fill this hole in my heart, I fell deeper and deeper into a hell of my own making. 

       But I had dug in my heels as I continued to resist the voice of God.  Once in a while I would receive – by pure grace – a clear message of what it could be like for me.  But I was already in captivity.  My mind was trapped; my heart was hard; my will had been kidnapped and taken to an unfamiliar place.

       Eventually, I started to accept the duplicity and my idolatrous style of religion.  Lightning didn’t strike me when I stepped over the line initially, so I just kept going in my determined waywardness.  Secretly, I had said to myself and God, “I don’t want to stop.”

 Tomorrow’s topic –  Idolatry:  Coping with powerlessness