Isaiah 40:18-19 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains.
Scripture illustrates man’s propensity to create his own suitable standards. We value our way so much that even our standards as followers of Jesus Christ, start to become negotiable. When we find ourselves in this trap, we quickly begin making God like us, and in this we transgress His law (Exo 20:3-5). We begin to appeal to our own autonomy. Our defense and logic generally results in a self-righteous sentiment, “but God is loving, and understanding.”
Jesus spoke with a rich man who asked what was required of him to inherit eternal life (Mk 10:17-22), the Lord demonstrated the measurement by which men are evaluated and spoke to him of the law. But this man had great possessions, self-righteousness, and a trust in human attainments rather than Godly gain. But God’s love and understanding said (v21), “sell all that you have,” lay down your riches, follow me.
A scribe zealously assured that he would follow wherever the Lord went (Mat 8:19-22). And faithfully, those who approach Christ receive the ‘love and understanding’ of God. He draws out the truth of his motives by showing his utter lack. Following Christ wholly is dependent upon setting our affairs in order first. Man’s agenda to live life in accordance to man’s autonomy is minimized by Christ’s words, “let the dead bury their own dead.”
It is possible for Kingdom citizens to demonstrate faithfulness, realization of truth, and a casting out of dependence. Casting aside the old man we establish a desire to exchange our ways for Gods. The believers in Asia, under the instruction of the Gospel learned a better way. Their dependence upon magic arts and costly books quickly became irrelevant and they burned them, disposing of the foundation they once held dear, despite their cost, and established a new level to build upon (Acts 19:17-19).
All man is counted as dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1-2), and in his innate desire to worship something, has chosen idols in the place of God. Man has chosen autonomy that supplants the statutes of the Most High and casts out any need for dependence upon Him. But who is wiser than God? Who consults of themselves and receives counsel more worthy than the Lords (Isa 40:13-14)?
We must ask ourselves if our watches are stopped at a pivotal time in our own history. Is the mystery of God made known to us? Have we heard the voice of the Son of God and now live (Jn 5:25)? Or do we seek status in the Kingdom without subscribing to its requirements?
The rich man was dead, and subject to his idols. The man burying his father was dead and subject to his idols. The book burners were dead, but they heard the voice of the Son of God, received life, and cast out their autonomy, their choice to follow man’s ways, his knowledge, his books of wisdom. With Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, the answer to idolatry is cost counting. Has God’s love and understanding set you free from your chained idols, who are dead works of man’s hands? Or are you still autonomous?
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, renew in me a right spirit, cast aside my transgression, and illuminate my path with your righteousness. Lord, let my ways be your ways. Let me worship you and seek your will. Let me strive to follow you, the Good Shepherd. I do not want to be bound to the work’s of my mind or man’s hands, but to your word.