The wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty, and puts it in a little shrine. Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it!
—Isaiah 44:13, 15 (NLT)
I read these verses, and thought “how stupid” that someone would worship something in his life that he has created—that he would place something he has created before the true Creator! Yet, isn’t that what we do? Make things in our lives more important than God who created them? Instead of being stewards of His gift of life, we decide that we are the owner. So we take our block of wood, and we carve what we deem best, and worship what has no power to change or empower us.
What are the idols in our lives—the things that we place before God? Some we realize, and don’t want to admit they exist. Others are unknown. For the ones we know are in our way of a relationship with Him, He convicts us, desiring that they be removed from the pedestal where we have held them in high regard. He wishes for us to either completely let them go or place them in the right perspective in our lives. For the things which we don’t realize are standing in our way of a deeper relationship with Him, He continually attempts to bring to light so that we aware of their harm—so that we realize the power we have afforded them. God just waits for us to wake up and realize their imminent destruction.
“The person who made the idol never stops to think,” Isaiah advised, “that it is just a block of wood. He burned half of it for heat and used it to bake his bread and roast his meat. How can the rest of it be a god? The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all” (paraphrase Isaiah 44:19-20).
“Wake up, wake up, O Zion!” Isaiah admonished. “Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer! Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, captive daughter of Zion” (Isaiah 52:1-2, NLT).
Oh, captive child, the Lord declares, put me first in your life, and put whatever is your block of wood in its right perspective. Don’t give it power above me. Don’t unknowingly worship or place it on a pedestal. Be sensitive to my Word and my wishes for your life. Listen, and know that I am God, and I desire nothing else in your life before me. Now wake up, and clothe yourself with my grace. Wrap yourself in my redeeming love and renewed purpose. As long as you place me first in your life, nothing shall come against you or have any power to destroy you. Remove the chains of slavery to what has been your god, and, instead, make me the love of your life.
©2018 Lynn Lacher