April 3, 2022

Day 46: Who's Your God

Read Psalm 85-86

In "The Wounded Healer", Henri Nouwen retells a tale from ancient India: Four royal brothers decided each to master a special ability. Time went by, and the brothers met to reveal what they had learned. "I have mastered a science," said the first, "by which I can take but a bone of some creature and create the flesh that goes with it." "I," said the second, "know how to grow that creature's skin and hair if there is flesh on its bones." The third said, "I am able to create its limbs if I have flesh, the skin, and the hair." "And I," concluded the fourth, "know how to give life to that creature if its form is complete." 

So the brothers went into the jungle to find a bone so they could demonstrate their specialities. As fate would have it, the bone they found was a lion's. One added flesh to the bone, the second grew hide and hair, the third completed it with matching limbs, and the fourth gave the lion life. Shaking its mane, the ferocious beast arose and jumped on his creators. He killed them all and vanished contentedly into the jungle. 

What's the moral of the story? We too have the capacity to create what can devour us. Each of us is prone to idolatry. We create idols that we worship. Money, power and sex are just a few of the gods of this world many bow before. But King David makes it clear that no other god can satisfy apart from the only true God. In Psalm 86:8 he wrote, "There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours."

What other god can create the world with his words? What other god has defeated the power of death? Think of all the ways God has worked in your life. There's no comparison to what we should serve. And yet we are all prone to idolatry.

It's the number one problem in the Bible. One thousand verses speak of it. Fifty of the laws in the first five books of the Bible are directed against it. In Judaism it was one of only four sins to which the death penalty was attached.

The issue is a big deal to God. He will not take second place. What are the gods that need to be demolished in your life? These questions will help you answer the question: 1. What are you most disappointed with? 2. Where do you turn when you hurt? 3. What do you dream of? 4. What are you really passionate about?

So what tends to be an idol in your life?

What would it look like to demolish the idol from your life?

Prayer for the day: "Dear God, there is no god like you. You are the only one that can give life. You are the only one that can give eternal joy. Help me bow no other knee but to you. Amen."

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