Bible Reading: Isaiah 44:9-22

“He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” (Isaiah 44:20)

The reality of Idolatry is complete blindness to God and His truth. We fall into idolatry when we believe that something is worth pursuing apart from God and His excellence. Most often, we pursue acceptance, status, pride, wealth, comfort. More deeply, we pursue pleasing ourselves with whatever we desire. We genuinely think what we desire is good and will satisfy us. This is a great danger.

If God forsakes and rejects us, we will never be able to know that we are living in idolatry and that our lives are not consecrated for God. We think our idolatry is good and reasonable. We think that it will make us happy and satisfied. We will have no consciousness of the evil and sin we are committing if God does not choose to have mercy and reveal Himself to us. 

The carpenter created an idol out of wood he collected and worshipped it. It is absurd that he would worship something equivalent to his firewood. Yet that is precisely us. Why do we pursue so hard to be accepted and seen more capable of others when there is full acceptance in Christ? Why do we pursue earthly wealth when our riches are stored up in heaven? Why do we desire idleness and slothfulness when God promises the greatest joy in suffering and toil? 

Our idols are absurd and replace God with an inferior thing. This is all of us. However, only those who God gives mercy can realise the depths of their sin. If God does not intervene with His mercy, we will continue disobedience and ignorance of God’s ways. This is a basic principle. We are 100% reliant on God’s grace. 

Have you ever realised how bound you are by your sins? Do you understand that if God never gives grace, you won’t even realise you missed out on grace? 

Sin is a binding power. It encapsulates us and poisons us from within. We cannot escape its grasp by ourselves. Our one and only hope is in Christ. If you have ever realised and been freed from an aspect of idolatry, you will know that God has intervened and worked to open us up to this grace. 

Again, we are 100% reliant on God’s working. We must learn what it means to pray based on this reality. When we pray for ourselves and others, remember that the only way others or ourselves can change and repent from idols is if God reveals it to us through His Word. Only by God’s mercy is there salvation. 

Therefore, learn to pray in fear and trembling, first for our own souls, then for the souls of others. Pray that our eyes may be opened to see more of God’s glory through His Word. Also, pray for others that the gospel and light of Christ may penetrate through them, and they can come to know the true God. Our key asset in ministry is prayer. Prayer is actually one of the key assets of Christian life. It is based on a humble crying for mercy because we know that we are in the dark forever without it. 

Let’s learn together what it means to humble ourselves before God and His plan. 

Lord, please forgive me when I did not discern and know Your way. I want to love You and follow You. I cannot do it by myself. Please have mercy on me and reveal to me my sins, including my hidden ones. Change me and create in me a new heart. Also, for others, I pray that You may have mercy on them too that they may realise their sins and turn to You. All is only by Your mercy. Please help us. In Jesus’ name, amen.