"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Idol Life ~ Teen Devotion

The Idol Life

In Habakkuk chapter 2:18-19, God says:

“What good is an idol carved by man,
or a cast image that deceives you?
How foolish to trust in your own creation—
a god that can’t even talk!
What sorrow awaits you who say to wooden idols,
‘Wake up and save us!’
To speechless stone images you say,
‘Rise up and teach us!’
Can an idol tell you what to do?
They may be overlaid with gold and silver,
but they are lifeless inside.

Although God is speaking to another nation, in another time, the words are so relevant to us today. And so is the warning.

Is there something in your life that fits the descriptions above? What takes place over your time with God (i.e. prayer, devotions, Bible study, youth group, church services, service projects, ministry, etc.)?

If you need some help, here are some common idols in our world today:

friends, family, work, school, knowledge, boys, girls, sex, acceptance, drugs, alcohol, drama, money, status, comfort, self-esteem, music, texting, IM'ing, TV, video games, movies, laziness, selfishness, food, cutting, bulimia, anorexia, business, bad situations, our past, our fear.

Do you struggle with any of the things listed above? I know I do.

God is very clear in his view of gods other than himself. Three words to focus on in the verses above are foolish, sorrow and lifeless:

God says, " how foolish to trust in your own creation", "What sorrow awaits you", and "can an idol tell you what to do? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside".

Most of the things I listed, in and of themselves, are not bad, but, they must be used in a way that God would find acceptable, and in a way that can glorify him.

Sex is not bad if you are married and show compassion and respect for your spouse. Sex includes most kissing and any and all inappropriate touching. If you are not married, DO NOT DO IT. If you can't be together without physical contact, you are not ready to glorify God with your relationship.

music is not bad unless you make it your sole way of communicating with God, or use it to drown out his voice in your life.

knowledge is good, unless your only desire is to gain it to be the smartest and to be able to hold yourself higher than others. The especially applies to Biblical knowledge. Studying the Bible and acquiring knowledge, and never applying it, indicates a lack of transformation by Jesus. Know your intentions.

Are you using those things to glorify God, or to glorify and satisfy yourself?

Application steps:

1. Get Focused: are there things in the list of idols above that you have in your own life? Make a list and give each, one of the describing words above (or more if they apply)

2. Get Purpose: Get the idols that you struggle with out of your life. Give them to God, all at once, or one at a time. But be intentional and dedicated to change.

3. Get Wise: Study the Bible. Learn God's feelings on idols, what the punishment was for them in the Old Testament, and what is said about them in the New Testament.* Ask God to show you ways to trust him to remove them from your life.

4. Get over it: Idols of this world are self-serving. They exist for you to try to make yourself feel better. But no matter what you do, the only true source of hope and joy is Jesus.

* One to get you started:

"You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
~ Exodus 20:3-6

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