Quick (? Haha, Shara’s “quick”) thoughts.
“The root of sin is the failure to value God above all things, so that He is not honored and praised as He should be. Human beings are foolish, not in the sense that they are intellectually deficient, but in their rejection of God’s lordship over their lives.”
It’s crazy how the Word comes alive here in South Asia. You may or may not have sat in “Sunday School” classes as you watched your teacher place various floppy characters on a flannel board (I personally love flannel boards, and if I ever reproduce, my children will be forced to love them too…just kidding…but, seriously…) .
You hear the stories in your ears. You picture the stories in your head. You read the stories. You ponder the stories. You are taught the stories. You teach others the stories. You know the stories. You believe the stories. You see Him in the stories. You grow to know Him and His characteristics from reading and studying the stories. You are changed by the stories. Life is found in these stories.
But, I think you can hear and study many of these true stories from His Word all day every day, and never really come to a certain understanding that happens when it comes to life right before your eyes.
In America, we don’t truly have a concept of a lame beggar sitting outside of a Temple who has, more than likely, been there his entire life, having been told he was nothing; a man of no importance. As my heart aches, I can see Peter and John walking up to that man declaring, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
Or the blind man sleeping under the only shade he could find. I see Jesus spitting in mud and placing it over his cloudy eyes, and as he wipes them clean…his dark world suddenly is illuminated.
Walking many miles daily on dirt roads, passing cows and goats, men and women carrying a plethora of different goods, fruits and vegetables, balancing sacks of rice on their heads…
There’s a man to your right sitting on the ground next to a box filled with eggs he’s selling…on your left, men are chopping the heads off of chickens…live fish awaiting their doom, splash around in little buckets of water in another shop.
We hear the word and we probably picture a little statue and someone bowing down to it. We may feel indifferent towards those who do it, or just don’t think much about it. We might think it to be a bit strange. We may find nothing wrong with it.
Not sure I can vouch for everyone, but, it’s hard when you see it. Honestly, it far surpasses the smells and the filth and the language barrier and the entirely different culture in your face all day every day, in the tough factor in living here. It’s beyond hard to watch. They’re everywhere. I pass them all day long; little booths with various different gods people can throw their money to.
I know I touched on it a little in my other blog, but, it literally physically hurts me to watch people bow down, offer sacrifices to, pray to, light incense to, dance for, sing to, worship…idols.
These gods they have created with their own hands.
But, I’m not here to write and bash these people.
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
These people are not dumb. They’re not stupid or ignorant. They are blind. They are blinded by the “god of this world” and it is my deepest longing that He will “let light shine out of darkness” in their “hearts” that they will know “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
But, I’m writing this blog more so for me.
Because I’m an idolater too.
What is constantly brought to my attention as I watch people bow down to plaster, is not simply how anguished I feel for them, but, how sick and disgusted it makes me feel about my own idolatry.
It looks different in my life. I don’t physically prostrate myself before physical objects, but, an idol is simply something or someone that one treasures, prizes, and values more than Him.
And, I bow down to many idols.
Every single day.
Idolatry is the very essence of sin.
Viewing creature and creation more valuable and more lovely than Creator.
He is the greatest good. There is nothing and no one more satisfying. How could there be? He is God. How could He create something more perfect than Himself? For God to desire our worship is for our best interest…because He knows we will be the most satisfied and fulfilled in Him. To desire for us to worship other things, would be cheating us out of what is TRULY great. He created us for Himself, and it is for our good, for our joy and for His glory. And, that’s AWESOME.
“Thou hast created us for Thyself and we are restless until we rest fully in Thee.”-St. Augustine.
Our hearts are Creator shaped holes that only He fits perfectly.
We try to fill it with ourselves… things…people…physical statues…but, they don’t fit.
Sin has disordered our worship. Sin has disordered our affections. Sin has disordered our desires. Sin has disordered our behavior. (Romans 1:18-32)
The idolatry of this city.
The idolatry of the world.
It’s not the way it was supposed to be.
I’m so thankful for the “But God”s in the Word. (Personal fave…Ephesians 2:4) Oh, how I need Him. How prone to wander I am. Prone to leave Him, and pour forth my affections on myself, my pride, my money, my selfishness, my future, my things, my friends, my family, etc…
Father, by Your grace, reorder my worship. In Your infinite wisdom and mercy, reorder the worship of these people. Become our passion. Become our deepest longing and our sweetest satisfaction. Become our one and only God.
To You be all the glory now and forever.
P.S. Start henna storying next week. Super excited. Will let you know all about it…if the internet is kind to me J
P.P.S. Be lifting up my new friend, “Sarah”. She’s a cousin. She’s a seeker. And she’s awesome.
Love you all and miss you with all my heart.
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