For Love, Not Legalism: Casting Down An iDol

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9

 The other day my son and I watched a video clip of several intentional disciples and lovers of Jesus Christ casting their self proclaimed ‘idols’ into a consuming fire. My son immediately cried out:

“I don’t want to throw my Legos into the fire!”

I asked him, “well, do you love your Legos more than God?”

He looked at me strangely and answered flatly, “Of course not!”

I told him, “Well then it doesn’t seem to be an idol. An idol is anything that you love more than God or distracts or keeps you from your fellowship with Him. It is something that becomes a false god and you worship it instead of the One True God.”

I went on to share with my son if he ever does come across an idol in his life he can go to God’s throne of grace to help him get rid of it.

The Hebrew word for idol ‘eliyl  means, “of naught, good for nothing, worthless, false god.”

It is worthless because it can’t do anything, it does not bring true peace, joy or comfort that only God can fulfill.

The second commandment tells us we ‘shall not’ make idols and worship them reminding us nothing deserves our worship other than God.  I must admit casting down idols does not always come easy for me, but since I have placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I am empowered by Him. John 1:16-17 says:

“For of His (Jesus) fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

It is true, I am no longer under the law but grace and  I am not condemned in what I eat, drink or do that is not ‘harmful’ to others–I am free in Jesus Christ.

However, I search and destroy idols in my life because I view them as encumbrances in the race of faith I am running. I’m on a journey with Jesus Christ, and as I walk closely with Him, and abide in Him, I love Him more and the things of this world seem to fade away. The times I struggle to unclench the worthless, He gives me the grace to let go. He also teaches me through the convictions of the Holy Spirit what potential encumbrances are in my life threatening to distract me from my first love: Jesus Christ; and my purpose: to glorify God.

I cast down idols not for legalism but for Love.

“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.” Psalm 119:37

This is one such confession I want to keep as a stone of remembrance so I won’t forget:

Along the way I got caught up in high tech communications like the iPhone leaving me feeling disconnected from the One in whom all good fruit flow from. This confusion and lack of peace had to stop!

My husband would jokingly say there must be a button on my car seat that lifts my phone to my ear the moment I sit down.  He was right.  I was distracted and hardly ever present and instead of prayerfully parenting with grace I saw my children as distractions to conversations I wanted to have. Then by God’s grace, I was convicted and I remembered why I’m here, and the assignment God gave me: to teach His statues diligently to my children all the time and the commission I have been given: to make disciples of all nations as I am going along.

In order to teach God’s statues they need to be on my heart and I need to be present. The Greek word for ‘abide’ menō is explained as, “to remain, not to depart, to continue to be present.” This is the same word Jesus used in John 15:5 when He said,

I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

I am a conduit, not the source.

To teach my children I must be connected to the One who helps me to do ‘something’ of eternal value. Being present means to rest in Jesus Christ, wait on Him, and be content in the moment, not striving for the next moment to come, but seizing every opportunity to speak life into my children and those around me.

In terms of being a ‘present’ parent, that means being available to listen to the hearts of my children and to sow God’s Word into their hearts as He leads.  As He leads…this requires to be prayerfully connected to God in order to know the Words and right moment to speak into their hearts; after all, only He knows the hearts of all men.  He knows the words that will sustain my weary ones.

I have spent four years of my sons life and two years of my daughter’s life disconnected from God and from training them in His ways…I do not want to waste another moment, I want to bear much fruit, I want to be a worker in God’s harvest.  So one month ago I said:

Good-bye iPhone, it’s not you, it’s me.  I have already replaced you with a ‘track phone’ I nicked named ‘wise phone’ as it helps me count the cost, measuring the minutes, and words bringing to my attention any idle word I make. I desire to be a purposeful, present, prayerful, parent and I cannot do this unless I remain connected to my power source Jesus Christ. I want to live an intentional life of a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I must not forget why I am here and iPhone, you distracted me too much…A Dios!”

I lay aside this idol and weight not for legalism but for Love. I desire to be continually connected and present abiding in God’s love through Jesus Christ seeking Him with all my heart.  I desire a deeper love with God, enabling me to pour out His love to those around me in the power of His Holy Spirit, all for His glory and honor.

I’m on my knees for us…

**After this stone of remembrance was written in my heart a fellow blogger shared this song “Clear the Stage” and it is one of my favorite songs this moment**

About altarofheaven

My name is arcelia. I love, worship and revere God. I am enJOYing the peace with God I have through Jesus Christ and I'm learning to listen and respond to His voice through His Word and convictions of the Holy Spirit in this midst of this chaotic and distracting world. I am a broken redeemed healed vessel, joyously drawing water from the Spring of salvation pouring out in God's strength by His Spirit for His glory. "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:14 View all posts by altarofheaven

10 responses to “For Love, Not Legalism: Casting Down An iDol

  • illumylife by Joy

    To lay aside our idols and abide in His love. That’s exactly what I wish to do and yet I find it so difficult at times. I agree with you and I pray that I will not miss the opportunities God gives me.
    Joy

  • mybroom

    Great post Arcelia, what a big revelation to grasp that now we are in Christ everything we do is for the joy of our walk with Him, rather than an attempt to gain His approval.He has no more legalistic requirements of us, yet His Spirit draws us into ever nearer intimacy. cheers Graeme

  • rolerrol

    Hi Arcelia.
    Wow. A very challenging post. Idols is a thing we need to be constantly tearing down. I was encouraged when you renounced an idol (iphone) in your life. Like you said it’s never easy but if we really love God then we must. I loved it when you said, “I lay aside this idol and weight not for legalism but for love”.
    Great post!
    Rolain.

    • altarofheaven

      Thank you Rolain! I’m glad you stopped by. It’s been a freeing time for me, I didn’t realize how easily distracted I had become—I’ve been enjoying being more aware of and soaking in God’s presence

  • optimisticgladness

    Oh my word….this is powerful! Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to your posts.

  • Crystal

    Hi Arcelia,

    Wow! Great post and a great reminder! The girls and I were just talking about this this morning. I sat down to read them God’s word and they immediately got up and went to get their stuffed animals. They had to have “sea turtle” and “Sarah” before they were ready to hear God’s word. We talked about putting God first before anything else and when I asked them do you love sea turtle and Sarah more then God, they gave the same reply “Of course not!” I reminded them that when they choose to put something else first instead of God it is an idol. I will definitely be sharing the scriptures you posted with them as a reminder. Thanks for sharing your “stones of remembrance.” 🙂

    • altarofheaven

      Crystal! I’m so thankful the Lord knitted our hearts together AND we get to walk closely with the Lord together and pray for our families! I love how you love the Lord and how you seek God’s kingdom and righteousness. I am blessed to call you my friend.

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