Thursday, November 14, 2013

In the Presence of Idols - False Confidence

Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings, these have become altars for sinning. I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something foreign. Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me, and though they eat the meat, the Lord is not pleased with them. Now he will remember their wickedness and punish their sins: They will return to Egypt. Israel has forgotten their Maker and built palaces; Judah has fortified many towns. But I will send fire on their cities that will consume their fortresses.” (Hosea 8:11-14 NIV)

The Israelites’ had forsaken God and fallen into idol worship. They went through some of the motions of worshipping their God but ultimately their trust and confidence was not in the Lord. It was in themselves, in their flesh, in their palaces, fortified cities, and fortresses.  But God would not have this idol worship.  He, instead, sent down fire to consume their idols (fortified cities and fortresses). 

There have been times in my life, lots to be honest, when I have felt like God has sent down his consuming fire.  I have come to recognize those moments as something more, something special, a purifying in my life. Looking back there has been in every circumstance just what I needed in that consuming fire to let go of an idol and turn to my God, the burning away of the chaff.

No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. (Isaiah 40:24 NIV)

Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. (Psalm 18:8 NIV and 2 Samuel 22:9)

See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire. (Isaiah 30:27 NIV)

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (Lamentations 3:22 NIV)

In these moments when God is burning away the chaff, the flesh life; idols of security, love, self, expectations, promises, and dreams that I have built up, I have a choice to make.  Do I believe God is who He says He is and that He ALWAYS has my best in mind?  The choice I make will be reflected in the way I live. It will be what my kids see and what they follow. Will I show my kids that my confidence is in the flesh or in God?  Will I teach them to build fortified walls or let them see God tear mine down and build me a fortified wall in Him that cannot be moved?

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. (Proverbs 27:19 NIV) 

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1 comment:

  1. Nicely done, Courtney. Glad to see you are bringing your considerable powers of insight to bear in a forum like this, where others can benefit. You are a gift to everyone who knows you. All success to you!