Are there any invisible idols in your life that you are bowing down to? What does the Bible say about idols? Wendy Macdonald talks about finding, confessing and giving up any invisible idols in your life and how God will be right with you in the process.
Idols come in all shapes and sizes, and recently I realized I’ve been bowing down to an invisible one. I’ll fill you in on the details after I’ve shared about a golden idol mentioned in the Bible.
One of the things I love about helping out with children’s church is the extra time I end up spending in the Word of God above and beyond my normal reading routine. I desire to steep my heart deeply in the Bible story before attempting to teach it to a class.
In one of the lessons, we learned about a ninety-foot high and ninety-foot wide golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had others make for him. And he insisted that everyone bow down to it each time music was played; if someone didn’t bow down, they’d be thrown into a fiery furnace—ouch. However, three brave souls refused to bow down to it. In Daniel 3:16-1 NIV we read:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
That’s pretty impressive faith. They were willing to risk not being saved from the flames because it mattered more to them that they trusted and obeyed God. Yes, what good is earthly comfort if my soul ends up separated eternally from God? What good are worldly riches if my spirit is starving? What good is momentary pleasure when an eternity of banishment from all things good—God—awaits us? So much is at stake when we make the mistake of worshipping idols rather than the One True God—Jesus.
The choicest kernel of wisdom that popped out of this reading of Scripture was the fact those three brave men were willing to burn themselves rather than spurn their Lord. They said that even if God didn’t rescue them, they would not bow down to gold. God was all that glittered to them, and they trusted He was able. And they submitted themselves to discomfort because their comfort was in serving God. So be it if we burn.
Oh my, here is where I confess my invisible idol in the hopes that I encourage you to see any that you may need to toss out too. My idol is… comfort. I don’t want to be uncomfortable. I don’t want to be afraid, embarrassed, attacked, strained or stressed. I want to live in my cozy comfort zone.
So when I started reading Ann Voskamp’s latest book, The Broken Way, I got uncomfortable; for she wrote about the zone I’m most afraid to enter. She wrote about getting involved in messy situations. She wrote about being Christ to those around us. About being broken.
I’m sure it’s no coincidence I started reading this book shortly after asking God to show me how to live out His will in my daily life. For, I already suspected I was holding out on Him. And holding back on Him. I was not doing for others. And in not doing for others, I was not doing for Him. They are a set.
By the time I reached the three-quarter mark of the book, I was learning to serve Jesus more and bow down to my comfort-zone idol less. However, because of my previous tendencies to people please, I have to abide in Christ, or I’ll simply switch from idol worship to good-works worship. I desire to hear His voice and sense His nudges to fulfill His good purposes through my hands and my feet—acting as His.
So when a still small voice nudged me to do something I had already told Him I wasn’t willing to do, I remembered that even if I died in a furnace of sorts, I’d be with Him. And that’s just it, dear friends; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did get thrown into the furnace—but they weren’t alone. In Daniel 3:25 NIV, we read:
“Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Yes, yes, yes. Throw me into the furnace of uncomfortableness. Throw me into Your will for me where I am free and You are glorified so that my comfort-zone idol burns away like dross.
You are with me. You will be with me. You will never leave me. But when I worshipped my comfort zone, I had left You. My hope needs to stay on… and in Jesus—not in my comfort.
Psalm 130:7 NIV says: … put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
I’d like to close with a short poem I wrote called: “My Hope”.
My hope is in
God’s unfailing love
For Christ is the Redeemer
The prophets all spoke of
My hope is in
The Son of God who came
And bled His crimson on the cross
To rescue us from shame.
Wendy L. Macdonald
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