I believe in the reality of spiritual warfare, that there is an unseen world where significant activity takes place. I affirm the existence of evil and the dedication that satan has to seek, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)
I also affirm that there appears to be a ferocious anxiety about how one is allured away and enticed to sin. Listen to a fair number of Christians and we ascertain a general anxiety that the devil is not only out to get us, but that the only reason one is ensnared is because of an attack from the evil one. In the Christian world, we seem to not want to imagine what we are capable of doing.
I affirm that the human person is best at worship or giving ultimate worth to self or something. We are good at creating idols and creating ways of blaming the damage caused by worshipping these idols on other things, thus cementing pain, disorder, or disillusionment.
The golden calf narrative in Exodus illustrates this reality. Moses was gone to a long meeting with God, Israel created a golden calf to worship instead. When confronted with the guilt of this act, the people responded, “Moses, you were gone a long time.”
Moses, it was your fault that I made an idol.
The psalmist highlights the connection between idols and idol makers… we tend to make an idol like ourselves. The imaging goes both ways; we make idols after ourselves, and the idols make us like them… disfiguring us to look sub-human. (see Psalm 115:4-6; 135:15-17)
Observation: We are black belts at making idols and burying the evidence. Yet, we’ll fight for our ability to keep the idols. Why do we fight to keep them? Because we took so much time to make them. We’ve made them to look like us so much that, to get rid of them is to get rid of ourselves.
In the same way, God made an image, Gen 1:26-27. He is fighting to keep his images. He grieves the things we turn ourselves into. Any correlation as to why the sanctification process is referred to as a “purification process?” We have to be re-heated up, cast into a different mold, have the impurities removed, so we can truly be free.
The start to the process is to own it. To sign our own name on the idol artwork we’ve created. We’ve done it. The idol looks like us, no question about it.
But there is grace. God is fighting for his images. May we find freedom within refiner’s fire today.