Among other things, we spoke briefly on Sunday about our temptation toward idolatry.
The temptation toward idolatry for the 21st century Christian isn’t a temptation to bow the knee to a statue of wood or stone. Yet, in similar fashion, the temptation is real for us to substitute God Almighty, as he is revealed in Jesus Christ, for lesser gods of our own fashioning. It is the temptation to chase after good things that God is the ultimate author of (relationships, prosperity, comfort, convenience, success) but turn them into ultimate things. It is the temptation to worship created things rather than the Creator (Rom. 1) who is forever blessed. When we do this, we find those things cannot satisfy, because we are trying to place upon things smaller than God the weight that only God can bear.
So how is the righteousness of Jesus the solution to our idolatry?
Jesus is the solution because while every other thing we chase after – even good things – will ultimately fade, Jesus remains. He is the “alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.” Jesus is, and was, and is to come, the Almighty. God gives us many good gifts, he desires many good things for us, but in the Gospel, he ultimately gives us the treasure of himself: Immanuel, God with us. The treasure of his forgiveness, favor, and fellowship – realities which will never perish, spoil, or fade, and can alone truly satisfy. The lone place our searching and seeking was ultimately designed to land.
So then, thinking back to our message on Sunday – is there a pervasive hunger or thirst in your life, because you are looking to things, maybe even good things, to satisfy you but such things are ultimately creation and not the Creator? Is this why you keep coming up empty? Is this why the hunger and thirst continues to return? If so, friends, turn your eyes on Jesus.
Hear the words of the old tune:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
May the Lord bless and keep us.