“The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?” -Isaiah 44:19-20 NLT
Oftentimes in the past, I’ve battled identity issues and what I root my self value in. I often find snowboarding wedged into my soul as a key portion of my personal value and feeling of success. This has often made life feel turbulent and unstable. If I land all of the tricks on my, list I feel great, but if I don’t, I feel like I’m worthless.
This passage can seem far off in a different land and context for many of us in modern times. While reading this I found myself saying, “How stupid could this guy be to burn one half of the wood for heat and worship the other half?” A short time later, I felt the Spirit convict me of how similar I was to the person in this passage after all: worshipping a piece of wood. Isaiah strikes right to the heart of what I, and the rest of humanity, have struggled with since the beginning.
By nature, our hearts are ‘idol factories’ waiting for something to worship other than God.
However, the amazing reality of God’s freedom allows us to break free from this trap. As God has gradually taught me about my identity as a redeemed child of God, I’ve found myself filled with greater and greater levels of peace and joy which spill out into what I love to do; I’m a child of God who just happens to enjoy going snowboarding.
The pastor of my church spoke once on creativity and worship, and it centred around this truth: God wants our hearts to be devoted to him alone, but he also gives us creativity and joy which we are meant to use for his glory.
We’re all flying down mountains covered with frozen water strapped to crazy multicolored fibreglass planks, and yet that can still be worship! For me snowboarding on a bunch of pallets and other trash can become worship when I’m in the place of being fully devoted to Him. That’s rad.
God loves us so dearly and equips us with creativity and other unique tools with which we can bring his kingdom to earth in the here and now.
What are some prominent “idols” that you’ve had in your own life?
What makes you distinctly you? (When I’ve asked myself this question, I would oftentimes say right away that I’m a snowboarder.) It’s a simple way of seeing what things we find identity in.
In what places in your own life could you use a reminder that you’re a child of God before anything else?
Be blessed friends!
By Zach Creighton | Calgary, Canada