This week has done the necessary job of exposing idols. At one moment many are decrying a demoralizing outcome, only to see a shift in votes followed by a complete reversal of outlook. When an outcome determines your outlook it has become a god in your life.
A question I’ve been asking people in conversation recently is, “how are you getting through 2020?” It’s a practical question that everyone can relate to because 2020 has been unlike any year prior. It’s also an exposing question because it forces an answer around where hope is found.
Though somewhere around 87% of Americans “believe in God” what many put their hope in is something far more transient than the God of the Bible. Here’s Martin Luther in our functional idols made God:
“(That) which you set your heart and put your trust is properly your god.”Luther “The Ten Commandments: The First Commandment”
The Bible makes defiant claims about Jesus as the one true God, full of glory, grace, and truth. And the thing is, you can’t have two gods in your life. You can certainly try to have multiple authorities in your life, but you’ll be constantly sacrificing one to serve another.
In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown talks about how before the 20th century, priority was only ever used as a singular word, it could never be plural. There was no such thing as priorities.
Now today, of course, we talk about our priorities all the time. We have a lot of things we care about. But McKeown talks about how that’s impossible. You can’t have priorities. His thesis statement in the book is that “if you don’t prioritize your life someone or something else will.”
I feel that truth in 2020 more than ever. There is so much happening, I often feel like I can’t keep up, and that’s often because I’m trying to have priorities instead of focusing on living out my one and only one priority. Or maybe better said, I have allowed many masters to become authority figures.
Of course, this struggle is not new in 2020. Eugene Peterson says that our souls are idol factories. In his letter to the Romans, Paul says we are often drawn to worship creature instead of Creator (Romans 1:25).
Yet, none of these idols ever deliver on their promises, just like every politician falls short of their campaign stump speeches.
It is The Lord who is all-powerful, capable of accomplishing everything you need.
It is The Lord who is all-knowing, capable of understanding your deepest pains.
It is The Lord who is everywhere, a consistent companion through good and bad.
No idols can match Him.