Today we build economies by creating marketing messages or stories to make ourselves believe that we want a product and ultimately need it. In comparison, in the ancient world, pagan prophets served as marketers, and entire economies were built on idol worship. Idolatry continues to flourish; even today some idols live among things we think necessary. Modern forms include: materialism, comfort, convenience, physical beauty, freedom from want, power, health, popularity, the bigger better deal, etc. Shedding idolatry means shedding the foundational ideas that empower it. Each day we must hunt these ideas down in our lives, slay them with prayer, and replace them with the words of our Lord.
- How is idolatry reinforced and encouraged?
- What solid counsel do idols give?
- How can we protect ourselves from idolatry?
- How can religious tradition become idolatry?
- Why is this subtle form of idolatry in many ways more dangerous than obvious idolatry?
- What is to prevent us from falling into this trap?
- What idols appear in verses 24 – 26?
- How frequently do we find them in church? In our lives?
- How can loving our enemies keep us fully engaged with God?
- Is it possible to love our enemies without his help?
- How does this make us most like him?
- What enemy can I love today?
- What is the result of a comfortable religion? For me? For society?
- How has comfort been an idol for me? How can I repent of this?
- How does a rhythm of confession and praise make prayer effective?
- How does this prayer differ from my normal prayers?
- What is the single greatest obstacle to God helping me and transforming my life? (If you say an unforgiving spirit, that is true, but this is the parent of that.)
- How does this contrast with the ideal and idolized woman of Western culture?
- What characteristics are alluded to about her husband?
- How does communication look between this ideal woman and her ideal husband?
- What ideas or idols do I cling to that would prevent me from becoming like this ideal woman or the ideal man she is married to?
My Utmost for His Highest, May 31
- If I had first trusted God, his will, and his Son first yesterday, how would it have been different?
- Am I willing to obey him and do this today? Am I ready for the adventure of what he intends my life to be?