What Happens When We Walk Away From Idolatry

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One of the hardest things we do, as Christians, is walk away from idolatry.

Make no mistake, many of us engage in idolatry and don’t even recognize it. I do think one of the most detrimental advancements of our generation is digital technology.

Digital technology keeps our mind and attention so preoccupied, we no longer have enough silence to hear the voice of God.

For many, this is their idol.

lady in field with flowering trees with arms outstretched

The ability to be able to do devotions without watching a YouTube video or reading a devotional seems almost impossible, because they have become so accustomed to someone telling them what the Bible says, that they have trouble hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit for themselves.

Not long ago, God convicted me about something that was displeasing to Him.

Part of me wanted to obey, but a bigger part of me enjoyed that thing more. And I kept putting off obeying God’s voice.

I found ways to rationalize why this thing wasn’t so bad.

Now, to be honest, that thing wasn’t technically a sin. But God had told me it displeased Him, so my reluctance to obey made it a sin.

Whatever we love more than God is an idol. Even if that thing is a good thing.

Our inability to lay it down on the altar, like Abraham laying Isaac on the altar of sacrifice, makes it an idol because that thing becomes more importance to us than God.

After a few weeks, I realized how much I had enthroned this thing in my life – how it was disrupting my relationship with God – and I laid it down and walked away. Never to return to it again.

The freedom and joy that came into my life afterward was miraculous!

What Happens When We Walk Away From Idolatry

This week we begin our final study through the book of Isaiah; and immediately, we read about the foolishness of idolatry.

How utterly blind one must be to fashion and shape something with their own hands, and then believe that this very thing is powerful enough to save and deliver them.

“The craftsman stretches out his rule, he marks one out with chalk; he fashions it with a plane, he marks it out with the compass, and makes it like the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house…He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” Isaiah 44:13, 17

While we may not literally make idols with our own hands, and afterwards hope in them for salvation, we do often look to man-made things – or man himself – to give comfort, rest, or satisfaction.

How many times have we thought that a TV binge, ice cream, or best friend would meet that longing we feel inside for comfort or satisfaction?

Only to discover later that while we felt comfort and satisfaction for a short time, it didn’t last?

But God eventually proves to us that there is none equal to Him. He alone has supreme power to save, deliver, comfort, and satisfy.

“To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal and compare Me, that we should be alike? They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it and set it in its place, and it stands; from its place it shall not move. Though one cries out to it, yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble.” Isaiah 46:5-6

In chapter 48 we see God addressing the nation of Israel.

They are obstinate in their idolatry. (Isaiah 48:4-5) Though God had rescued the Israelites from a life of misery and slave-labor; though He had done powerful miracles in the desert; though He had won their battles for them against their enemies who were more powerful than they were, and should have been able to devour them…

They still ignored every warning He gave them not to make alliances with the surrounding nations, because they would fall into the idolatry and worship the abominations of those countries.

And so they did.

Time after time after time.

And this same warning we have been given by many wonderful, powerful, men of God who – themselves – may not accept the title of “prophet” but have most certainly filled that role in the body of Christ; warning us time and again not to make alliances with the world because soon our worship would be polluted with the ways of the world and our behavior would take after the behavior of the world.

And so it has.

The church is saturated with humanism, feminism, hedonism, immorality, pop-psychology and self-help sermons; she is more willing to entertain congregations with concert-like events rather than prayer meetings and calls to fasting.

The Super Bowl is broadcast in the sanctuary, and clips from R-rated movies are show….some pastors even using profanity in the house of God without thought for how this deeply offends God.

Our idols, in every way, are evident in the house of God and in the lives of Christians.

The question is, will we sweep away the clutter of our lives and silence the cacophony of digital noise enough to be able to hear God whisper in our ear the things that have become a barrier between us and Him.

Are we ready to walk away from our idolatry?

If we are, here is what will happen.

1. He will bring refreshment (44:3)

“I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground” Isaiah 44:3

When we walk away from our idolatry, and when we acknowledge God as supreme in our life, He will pour on us His water of refreshment.

That sense of unfulfillment; the need for comfort and satisfaction, will be filled.

2. He will pour out His Spirit on us (44:3)

If there is anything this generation needs from the Lord it is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and revival.

My generation was the last generation to experience a revival. That means there are two generations of young people who have never experienced a genuine revival.

He longs to pour out His Holy Spirit again, if we are willing to sacrifice everything that is dear to us to meet with Him; fast and pray, tarry in prayer, and wait in His presence until His Holy Spirit comes upon us.

3. He will bless our offspring (44:3-5)

I can’t think of anything more powerful than a blessing that is passed through our bloodline.

We know that the sins of the fathers are passed down to the third and fourth generation. But do you know that God will send blessing to the thousandth generation?

“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” Deuteronomy 7:9

Dear sister, ever since I laid that thing down on the altar of God, that was displeasing God, I have experienced all three of these things in my life.

That constant sense of something missing is gone and there is tremendous peace in my home.

I have felt a fellowship with the Holy Spirit in deeper ways than I have ever know. Such a constant sense of His presence with me, like I have never felt in my many years of walking with the Lord.

My children are sharing with me their own personal experiences with God from church and their personal daily Bible reading.

I can tell you that this is true.

We just have to be willing to first obey God, lay down those things in our life that have become more important to us than God, that are creating a barrier between us and Him, and listen for His voice speaking to us.

When we do – when we are willing to sacrifice all for His pleasure – we will experience refreshment, a pouring out of the Holy Spirit, and blessing on our offspring….through our blood line for generations to come!

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