Duration: 365 days
GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE
Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 44:6–23
One evening as Napoleon sailed back to France from an expedition to Egypt, he overheard a group of his officers debating the existence of God. As products of the skeptical and atheistic culture of their times, they unanimously concluded that God couldn’t possibly exist. The men decided to ask their leader’s opinion. When asked, “Is there a God?” the diminutive leader raised his hand, pointed toward the stars and responded, “Gentlemen, who made all that?”
Even when presented with overwhelming evidence that God exists, people will continue looking for substitutes for God. Some look to the New Age movement, mysticism, the latest self-help craze or their own distorted concept of what they want God to be. Isaiah alludes in this passage to individuals who pursue such ideas: “All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless” (verse 9). Such people don’t even seem to comprehend that the wood used to carve the idol is the same wood they use as fuel.
People who follow Christ can easily point fingers at those who go on spiritual treasure hunts for alternative gods. We readily perceive the hollowness of their false religions compared to the fullness and greatness of our experience of the one true God. But what about our idols?
We want more money, insist upon owning the biggest house within our circle of friends or climb the corporate ladder for the best position at work without worrying about those we may have to step on to get there. Making any of these pursuits our top priority in life means that we are substituting them for God. An idol can be almost any attitude, concept, person or material possession that strokes our own self-worth and takes our eyes off what God wants for our lives. We might not actually be on our knees before idols, but do we bow before any of these false substitutes? Anything we try to use as a substitute is little more than a dim reflection of ourselves.
Whenever you’re tempted to adopt a substitute for God, take a moment to remind yourself that only one true God exists. If you remain unconvinced, look up to the stars and ask yourself, “Who made all that?”
To Take Away
- What steals your time, love and attention away from God?
- Why do you think we find it easier to create our own idols than to acknowledge God?
- What steps can you take to throw out false idols in your life and instead draw closer to God?
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.