Fighting the gods with the Footsteps of Faith Part Two
Previously I shared how an idolatrous relationship can hold you in bondage. One of the telltale marks of an idolatrous relationship is the flip-flop of emotions you will experience. All is well when you meet the needs of idol; but idolizer beware: there is a price to pay when you displease the gods!
Idolization is the starting point. When you idolize someone you enter a relationship that is based on a false assessment of a person’s character. It is only when two people accurately see one another’s faults, weaknesses, and besetting sins that they can knowingly and willingly commit to one another’s best interests. If the person you are trying to establish a relationship with is a covetous idolater (Ephesians 5:5), then you will find that when their weaknesses are exposed they will become defensive or offensive. Covetous idolaters do not like to be exposed, and they will make you pay dearly if you try.
In order to avoid the loss of any false security that your relationship-god gives, you buckle under and comply. But whenever you idolize someone, you give them power to control your life. At first you receive something from them that fills you. Soon enough, however, they are extracting from you by requiring a high level of worship. This requirement may involve spending time with them, remaining quiet so they can do the talking, or receiving compliments, gifts, or sacrifice of any kind.
Once you stop giving to idolaters, they will respond coldly or try to make you feel small or devalued; they will use fear as a powerful manipulative device, and once you’re afraid, the idolater is in control. Worshiping the gods is a full-time job!
In order to break free of these binding relationships, there is only one requirement: stop sacrificing yourself on their altar of self-worship. With God’s help you will need to take your footsteps of faith and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4). It won’t be easy, and you will need to be prepared for an outbreak of wrath and hurtful reactions. The gods are very temperamental, you know! But with each footstep of faith, each word of truth that comes from your heart and mouth, you will gain strength and begin to enjoy healthy relationships of which the gods no longer have control.
Mark’s Favorite Book of the Day:
— The Meaning of Marriage
Using the Bible as his guide, coupled with insightful commentary from his wife, Kathy, of thirty – six years, Timothy Keller shows that God created marriage to bring us closer to Him and bring us more joy in our lives. Following the principles in this book can turn the absence of joy into the fullness of adventurous love. If you’ve never heard Tim speak or read his books, you are in for a blessing.
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