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roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Our Most Sacred Idol

We learn in the Bible that idolatry was a perpetual problem of all civilizations – not only among pagans, but also among God’s people. Nothing enraged God more than idolatry. But also, nothing enraged the idol worshippers more than when their treasured idols were threatened.

Nothing has changed. We too are made from the same stuff - the bent to worship idols. And we have a lot more idols than they ever had in Bible days. We have modern conveniences, countless choices, opportunities, things, people, status, religion, and institutions, to name a few of the many things that can be more important to us than God.

There is one particular idol that has always been around since the beginning. I suspect that it is our most sacred idol. No one ever talks about. It is very difficult to detect, for it cannot be seen, heard, or felt. It lurks quietly in the recesses of the mind. Few even know that it exists. However, when this cherished idol is threatened, there is often a sharp defensive reaction by its worshipper.

You are now wondering, What is this idol?

A statement I heard once from a marriage therapist gives us a clue. He said, “I could help couples progress better if they each would let go of their need to be right.” Aha! There it is! Their need to be right. That is the culprit – the demon idol that lurks in the hidden recesses of our minds.

We likely don’t view our rightness as a potential idol. Yet we carefully pattern our lives in such a way that it cannot be threatened. We imply in one way or another: “Don’t you dare tell me I’m wrong or need to change my thinking.” …”I will let you know how right I am.”…. “ I will correct you to my way of thinking” We control conversations; we control our family, friends, and subordinates – all in order to protect this beloved idol. We live our lives with an evangelistic fervor to testify to our treasured idol – our rightness.

This idol keeps us in a terrible bondage. It keeps us from admitting our spiritual poverty. It keeps us from seeking God for his infinite wisdom and truth. It keeps us from receiving helpful insight from others. It keeps us dishonest about ourselves.

In order to begin our journey to God, we must recognize and then surrender this idol. We must admit that we are poor – poor in mind, and poor in spirit. This is a humble path to take. However, only then can we be filled with wonderful treasures from above – God’s Spirit and truth.
Diane


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Diane

 2005/10/1 7:01Profile









 Re: Our Most Treasured Idol


Dear Diane,

This is a tough post to respond to, because I remember many years ago, having to let go of the pride which prevented me from admitting I might be wrong about anything - let alone everything....! I had a friend who was a children's nurse. She had a photographic memory in those days and was always embarrassing herself with what she could remember having read - anywhere - but, she had a childlike thirst for new insight and knowledge and I heard her ask so many questions, I couldn't believe it was possible for anyone to be such a sponge for new information. Nothing she liked more, was to pin down the father of her sickest child (in the ward) and get him to explain what he did for a living. As a result, she was a great example of how to love others and make them feel valued which challenged me to the core. I'm not saying I'm like her now, but, she was a factor in my being willing to swop my 'I know' for an 'I [i]don't[/i] know ... please tell me, or, please explain to me.' It is still a process though, to find oneself too ready to claim the ascendancy and consciously turn away from it.

 2005/10/1 11:49
Nellie
Member



Joined: 2004/4/5
Posts: 952


 Re: Our Most Treasured Idol

This is so true, Diane.
Thanks for posting it.
God Bless
Nellie :-)

 2005/10/1 13:40Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
I remember many years ago, having to let go of the pride which prevented me from admitting I might be wrong about anything - let alone everything....!


Wrong about everything?!?!?!?!? Dorcas, I'm trying to understand you here - wondering how that is possible. That would be like having 0% on every test in school. I'm wondering if you're refering to spiritual truths - that through the natural minset, all spiritul truths are misinterpreted. That would be a very humbling truth to have to face.

Other thoughts:
In school, each time you were wrong you got a BIG [b][color=CC3300]X[/color][/b] on your test. So you learned that it was bad to be wrong and good to be right. One way we can help children rise above this is by letting them see that we are are not afraid to admit we are wrong.
Diane


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Diane

 2005/10/1 22:08Profile









 Re: Our most treasured idol

Diane,

In that house-church, we sang a lot of Wesley hymns and a recurring theme is the need to lay down even what we think is good. If God thinks it's good, He'll give it back intact, or, He will show us how He wants us to use that talent, gift, insight, skill etc. The point was really to let go of the idea that one had anything at all in one's favour. Now I agree there can be dangers spiritually, in asking people to lay down everything at once - because one doesn't know what will rush in to that 'gap'. And I think it was unhealthy for me at the time - definitely - but, in relinquishing my high opinions about one thing, I had to be open to the possibility, I was wrong about more than I knew. And I think THAT is a [i]healthy[/i] thought, when one is laying down something big.

Sometimes an issue is extremely specific and that's different from laying down an attitude which is bound to have affected all one's dealings with information. In fact, what I found was I had not been [i]open[/i] to perfectly good new information, because I was already so sure I was right about everything. And I wasn't. I couldn't possibly be. I didn't know enough - let alone be [i]right[/i] about everything I (thought I) knew.

Is that clearer?

 2005/10/1 22:57
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Our Most Treasured Idol

Basically 3 idols Israel had to deal with, the same ones we deal with.


1) Ashera- the female goddess of fertility associated with sex

2)Molech (sp?)- god of power, associated with position ect...

3)Baal- god of increase associated with prosperity

That's a real quick thumbnail sketch . For us to day it's summed up in one sentence, "deny your self and follow Jesus".

But there are times when we will have to stand up and contend for the faith, or compell with strong arguements them to come in. But in a sacremental way I do kinda understand where you're coming from. Just rember that there is no new revelation by private interpetation. So always be like the Bereans who were more noble and searched diligently to see if the things they heard were true. God Bless, Bro. Daryl


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D.Miller

 2005/10/2 1:46Profile









 Re:

That was good dohzman.

John said the same thing in 1Jo 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."


I liked the latter half of your post too. Amen.


Sometimes (most times) we don't even know (want to know) our own idols, and can only ask God to reveal our 'own' heart to us and be ready to see the worst.

That prayer will never cease to be necessary, until we die or are resurrected.



We're all a mess. Amen ? (Compared to HIM)





;-)

 2005/10/2 2:39
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
Sometimes (most times) we don't even know (want to know) our own idols, and can only ask God to reveal our 'own' heart to us and be ready to see the worst.


So true, Grannie! And it takes a lot of courage to ask God to reveal them. I don't know if we can ever be prepared enough to see the worst. That would mean being told that we are wrong about something important to us, and that violates our need to be right.

Quote:
there are times when we will have to stand up and contend for the faith, or compell with strong arguements ....



I feel I need to make some clarifications:

I am not pointing us to favor the absence of absolutes in our lives - as I suspect some may think, but to surrender our idolatrous need to be right. There is a difference. Think about it for a while.

Anything good can become an idol when we lean on it instead of on God himself - even aspects of God's word. We know our "rightness" is an idol if we are angry or threatened when someone challenges us, or when we are not willing to receive further enlightenment - thinking that we have arrived.

When we "take a strong stand for the truth" while not really ever trying to learn about those we are talking to, or trying to hear it from their life-view, we are in danger. We may be trampling over others with very little love, all the while convinced we are standing up for God. The pharisees were like that. Jesus called their idol: SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS


Diane


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Diane

 2005/10/2 15:02Profile
dullrainbow
Member



Joined: 2005/8/10
Posts: 98
Iowa U.S.

 Re: Our Most Treasured Idol

Quote:
This idol keeps us in a terrible bondage. It keeps us from admitting our spiritual poverty. It keeps us from seeking God for his infinite wisdom and truth. It keeps us from receiving new revelation through others.



Diane
So very true...just the other night with paper and pen in hand I started writting out a description of this idol, in a journal type prayer. Sure did not like what I wrote but it was all true. This started after I read the chapter in A.W. Tozers book the Pursuit of God, named, The Blessedness of Possesing Nothing. At frist it did not make sence to me about the chapter and the journal...now it all fits together.
Eileen

Blest be that Power, which hath that Idol broke,
Which did so long depress me with her Yoke!


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Eileen Teitsworth

 2005/10/2 15:26Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 everything?

Quote:
recurring theme is the need to lay down even what we think is good. If God thinks it's good, He'll give it back intact,

And I think it was unhealthy for me at the time - definitely - but, in relinquishing my high opinions about one thing, I had to be open to the possibility, I was wrong about more than I knew. And I think THAT is a healthy thought, when one is laying down something big.


Dorcas, I think your point helps to fine-tune the issue. While it was wrong for the spiritual leaders to make this request (no doubt trying to avoid idolatry), I feel that you made the best of the situation and applied it wisely to yourself.

Churches have always tried to control the problem of idolatry by forbidding something that for SOME PEOPLE was an idol.

It is wrong for us to empty our our minds because some people make an idol out of what's in THEIR minds.
Diane


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Diane

 2005/10/2 15:30Profile





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