Answer: Slay your idol-of-the day. And develop the lifestyle of an Idol-Slayer.
We all have idols tugging at our hearts all the time so there’s plenty of opportunity. But before we can slay them we need to see them. What’s yours? Most idols start off as God’s gifts: sex, money, health, family, reputation, career, appearance, security. We know gifts have become idols when:
We focus and depend on them more than God.
We protect and defend them above all else.
We treasure them above the Giver.
Okay. Now that you have your idol in your crosshairs, it’s time to deliver the deathblow. But how? Slaying an idol is not easy. White-knuckle willpower is not effective. You’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Me, too.
But the Bible provides hope. Isaiah 30:22 clearly describes idol-slaying:
Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”
Awesome! This is exactly what I want to do. But everything hinges on the word then. Verses 20-21 explain what has to happen first:
. . . your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols . . . scatter them . . . [and] say to them, “Be gone!”
Ah! Before I can slay an idol, I must have eyes to see the Divine Person. I must have ears to hear The Teacher’s specific guidance. “Okay,” you say, “But what does that mean?” Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, by John Piper, is a great source of easy-to-access help for answering that question. I highly recommend it in BOOK or DVD format.
In the meantime, try these three steps:
- Get alone with your Bible and ask your Teacher, the Spirit of God, to illuminate the Word of God, until you can see and hear Him.
- Specifically draw near to Jesus and meditate on His cross until the truth is evident—there is a better love that brings better news than any idol ever could.
- Once you realize you really do treasure the Giver above the gifts, defile and scatter the idol and say to it, “Be gone.”
Every idol is an opportunity. Let’s pray for eyes to see them and strength to slay them—all to the glory of the Master. And maybe, just maybe, we will hear from Him one day, “Well done!”