through His Word
What is your life centered on? We center our lives around what we love. That’s why we need to be careful about what we love the most. If we’re centering our lives around the wrong thing or person, our lives can fall apart.
God is a good center of heart and life. If we love God first, what would life be like? Our lives would revolve around the one Person who makes things better, who satisfies our hearts (Psalm 107:9), and who gives us grace and strength to handle life’s problems. The One who plans good adventures and lasting memories, and who gives us an assignment to help others and the ability to carry it out. When we love God first, we concentrate our attention, zeal, strength, and affection on the One who loves us perfectly. We achieve the purpose for which He gave us life, and draw close to Someone whose fellowship and love satisfy our hearts.
But sometimes we can put something or someone in God’s place in our hearts. In her book Isaiah: Setting Things Right, Beebe Kauffman talks about “the Nothings,” which refer to those idols that we set up for ourselves in God’s place, but they have no substance. They can’t protect us, meet our needs, or give us the contentment that only God can give us. Here’s why they are so harmful.
“What are today’s idols? ‘Pride makes a god of ourselves; covetousness makes a god of money. . . . Whatever is loved, feared, delighted in, or depended on more than God, that we make a god of. . . . The foundation of the whole law [is] that we take the Lord for our God, accept him for ours, adore him with humble reverence, and set our affections entirely upon him.’1 . . .
‘Don’t trust in man or the things of this world, above God’ is a principle that applies to the whole chapter [Isaiah Chapter 2]. Don’t trust in:
- worldly ways and false religions v.6
- riches v.7
- military might v.7
- idols, the work of your own hands v.8
- those who are proud and strong v.12-15
- business v.16
- precious idols, those that are especially hard to give up v.18, 20
Idols are not just objects fashioned out of wood, stone, or metals. Scripture tells us that we can set up idols in our hearts which cause us ‘to stumble into iniquity’ (Ezek 14:3-4). They estrange us from God (Ezek 14:5). Let’s be careful not to center our lives on worthless and vain things, but to build our lives around God and faith in Him. Faith knows the truth and acts on it. Faith knows a Person and relates to Him. True life is knowing the one true God (John 17:3), being changed by that knowledge, and living the life that comes with those changes. Spiritual life is an enriched life, a purposeful life, a satisfied life. No idol can supply what God supplies to us in fellowship, training, equipping, and empowering. God’s counsel to us is, ‘Don’t worship idols.’ Don’t let anything else assume God’s place at the center of your life.”2 - Isaiah: Setting Things Right
As you think about where you’re headed in this new year, head straight for the heart of God—to know Him, love Him, and share life with Him. Strive every day to make Him the center of life, and flourish in fellowshiping with Him and loving Him with all your heart. Idols are worth nothing and are useless. When God is our First Love, life makes sense, and we find true contentment.
1This quote is a note on Exodus 2:3 by John Wesley used in Isaiah: Setting Things Right by Beebe Kauffman. The citation for the note is as follows: John Wesley, John Wesley’s Notes on the Old and New Testaments, quoted in Phil Lindner, Power Bible CD, CD-ROM (Bronson, Mich.: Online Publishing, Inc., 2007), Exodus 2:3.
2This excerpt is taken from Isaiah: Setting Things Right (Buford, GA: Lighthouse Bible Studies). Check out the book’s description and a sample here.
© Copyright 2015 by Katy KauffmanIsaiah 2, idols today, idolatry, Isaiah: Setting Things Right, The Center of Life: An Isaiah: Setting Things Right Excerpt, Katy Kauffman, Beebe Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies