Tearing Down Idols

Steve Arterburn

 

King Asa lived at a time when the Israelites had given themselves over to idolatry. They basically thumbed their nose at God and believed their way of living, contrary to His instructions, was right.

 

But when the king heard the message of the prophets, he destroyed the idols the people were worshipping. Asa restored the altar of the Lord. He even removed his own mother from her position of power because she’d been influencing Israel in their idolatry.

 

When you think of idolatry, you might consider it a phenomenon of times past. But that’s a big mistake. Our culture is rife with idolatry, and our own hearts are very susceptible to it.

 

As God continues His work in you, it’s crucial that you recognize the idols our culture bows before and that you don’t get caught up in treating them as idols yourself.  Things like money, power, possessions, titles, comfort, superficial beauty, or any number of things that usurp what belongs only to God.

 

In the end, you’re called to do something very much like king Asa did: crush and burn the idols in your own thinking and in your heart. Guys, God has called you to redirect your life in order to follow Him. That means moving against the stream of this world, and the things it worships in place of God.

 

But take heart: God always supplies the ability to accomplish what He asks of you. He’ll be there for you, empowering and encouraging you all the way home.

Asking For Directions

Stephen Arterburn

Men, God has a way of showing us that we don’t know as much as we think we do. And He will certainly act when we need to be shown that we don’t know better than He does.

 

That’s what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar, who had to learn a serious lesson in humility. Talk about a severe act of mercy: For seven years, this once proud king was struck with a mental illness that caused him to roam the pastures outside the palace and chew grass like a cow. After paying the price for his pride, the once self-sufficient and self-centered king said: ‘Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble’ (Daniel 4:37). In this confession, three things are key for me: the words ‘everything,’ and ‘all,’ and the phrase ‘his ways.’

 

These words speak to the king’s new understanding of God’s control and to the choice he wants each of us to make: God’s way or my way. Too often we neglect to ask God, ‘How do you want me to handle this?’ or  ‘What does God’s Word call me to do in this?’  How should I respond to this situation in a manner consistent with God’s word?

 

The reasons for not asking these questions boil down to one of two issues: ignorance or arrogance. And neither is something I’d recommend. Men, neither will benefit you, and both carry very high price tags.