“When men and women engage in idolatry it is an attempt to either; localise God, or in our minds contain the creator, “we can put God in here”; or to domesticate Him, making the Sustainer of life somehow dependent upon us; or to alienate Him, by blaming Him for His distance and His silence, when in reality He actually rules the nations and isn’t far from us; or to dethrone Him by demoting Him to some image of our contrivance or craft or creativity, when in fact He is the Father from whom we derive all of our craft and creativity; there is no logic in idolatry, it’s a perverse expression of our human rebellion against God.”-Stott
Four words in bold stand out in this quote. Four words that I am indeed guilty of….we are all guilty of. Idolatry is a strange and powerful thing, yet subtle in its in working and out working. When we hear the word “idol” we either go to pop cultures definition of someone famous or infamous who we want to be like, with, or a part of their world. Or we run to a more ancient picture that relegates the definition to primitive people worshiping primitive gods in a primitive manner. But the reality is that idolatry is the removing of any of the fullness of God, and His attributes from the place of honor which they do and should hold. this is idolatry in its truest sense, making the One true God any less than He is, and any less than how He has revealed Himself.
I am an idolater. I have tried with great vehemence to localise God, putting Him in a box for which He is not made and can not fit. I have often sought to domesticate Him, believing that somehow His joy was wrapped up in my worship and obedience of Him. I have alienated Him, blaming Him for not doing what I wanted Him to do, and not answering my prayers the way I wanted Him to, though He is omniscient and all-knowing and I am not. And I have dethroned Him, making so many temporal and useless things my God of the moment, and making Him to hold a lesser position in my eyes than that which He holds in the full scope of our reality. Yes I am an idolater, and so are you. But there is an out, and it is the gospel…through it, belief in Christ sacrifice for sin and absorbing of God’s wrath, and the following of His word, will, and way, my idolatry diminishes as my worship, affection and satisfaction in God expands. Thank God for His Christ and His gospel, believe and be free from idolatry.