Your god v. the True God

Idolatry is not just worshiping a golden calf or pagan statues.  Idolatry is worshiping anything other than God. We were created to love God ultimately, and an idol is anything besides God that becomes our ultimate love.

Tim Keller calls them counterfeit gods. These can be sinful things like pornography or illicit drugs, or they can be good things like work or marriage. Anything that is not ultimate but is loved ultimately has become your idol.

The lie of idolatry is that our idol will be for us what God alone can be.  The pain of idolatry is that our idols cannot be for us what God alone can be.

Repentance, according to Lesslie Newbigin, is admitting what you thought was god is not God.  Unfortunately, too often counterfeit gods are not forsaken until they destroy us, and even then, many still cling to their pitiful gods.  But the Bible is pleading with us everywhere to lay down our gods and embrace the one true God.

Here are twenty ways your god will fail you but the true God will not. May it wake us up to the folly of our idolatry…

  1. Your god promises to love you but leaves you rejected. The true God will be for you the very definition of abiding love. (1 John 4:16)
  2. Your god promises joy but leaves you empty. The true God will give you fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)
  3. Your god promises pleasure but leaves you longing. The true God will give you pleasure forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
  4. Your god promises to supply your needs but leaves you wanting. The true God will supply every single one of your needs. (Romans 4:19)
  5. Your god promises to be your prosperity but leaves you damaged. The true God will prosper you and do you no harm.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
  6. Your god promises to be your refuge but leaves you desolate. The true God will be an unfailing refuge in your time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
  7. Your god promises to heal your pain but leaves you wounded. The true God will heal your brokenness and bind up your wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
  8. Your god promises you peace but leaves you anxious. The true God will give you peace that goes beyond comprehension. (Philippians 4:7)
  9. Your god promises you contentment but leaves you pining. The true God will satisfy you completely (John 6:35)
  10. Your god promises freedom but leaves you oppressed. The true God will set you free. (John 8:36)
  11. Your god promises you companionship but leaves you lonely. The true God will befriend you forever. (John 15:15)
  12. Your god promises to cherish you but leaves you exploited. The true God will exult and sing over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)
  13. Your god promises to be committed but leaves you abandoned. The true God will never leave nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  14. Your god promises you comfort but leaves you afflicted. The true God will comfort you in every affliction. (1 Corinthians 1:3-4)
  15. Your god promises to give you purpose but leaves you aimless. The true God will give you a high and holy calling. (1 Peter 2:9)
  16. Your god promises you happiness but leaves you saddened. The true God will fill your whole being with gladness. (Psalm 16:9)
  17. Your god promises you excitement but leaves you depressed. The true God will give you more glory than can be imagined. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
  18. Your god promises to give you significance but leaves you worthless. The true God will let us rule the cosmos with Him. (2 Timothy 2:11-12a)
  19. Your god promises it will all work out but leaves you ruined. The true God will work everything together for your good. (Romans 8:28)
  20. Your god promises life but leaves you dead. The true God died that you might live. (Romans 6:23)

Perhaps God knew what was best when He commanded, “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.”

Rev. Robert Cunningham