I’m on a quest, sort of like an Indiana Jones styled archaeological hunt, to find long hidden idols, false objects of worship. But these idols aren’t made of gold or silver. I’m not ferreting out golden calves in my life. I’m looking for more insidious ones, idols that misrepresent the one true God.
I started my quest with my Easy Bake God, which you can read about here. But after finding one idol, my sense of adventure heightened, I only wanted to find more.
In his book Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer explains how idols aren’t always the carved statues from pagan cultures or the items we worship in our consumer driven society. True idols are false conceptions of the true God:
The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is – in itself a monstrous sin – and substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness…The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him…The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true (3,4).
This week, I found another idol, one that I’ve been building in my heart for awhile, one that I didn’t even realize I was constructing until it was too late, and it was fully formed.
I’ll call this idol “Banker God.” He works a steady job, banker’s hours to be precise. He prefers it if you make an appointment with him, and he’s an awfully busy guy.
I tend to have my daily time with God in the mornings. I’ve been doing this since I graduated from college. In college, my times with God got crammed into wherever I could fit them, between classes and study sessions and walks on the beach (life was rough in Santa Barbara, California). But, when I got a job and a more predictable schedule, God got allocated mornings before work.
Somehow between college ending and today, I’ve managed to turn that morning time into a mandated appointment with God. Not only that, my understanding of God’s nature has warped to fit this style of meeting.
I’ve started cooling to the morning devotion times. Maybe it’s because I’ve got to work on my priorities, but maybe it’s just because I need to rethink a better time to meet with God. My best time for writing happens to be the morning, and I was starting to resent God from taking that time from me. I didn’t like spending time with him when I had that on my heart. I felt myself writing in my head when I should have been focused on him.
So, the other night, sitting in bed, I took out my Bible and was working on one of my memory verses in James. I took it further and did some Bible study, and I found that my focus was so much better since I wasn’t thinking about writing so much. But, I felt guilty because I wasn’t meeting God during our appointment time in regular business hours. I wasn’t even approaching him in the typical setting or with the Bible I always use for devotions.
Thankfully, God broke through and showed up, letting me know that he doesn’t operate according to banker’s hours, or any set hours or human plans. Just because I’ve had a set schedule with him for a long time, it doesn’t mean that we can’t spontaneously change that, any day.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” -Jesus (Matthew 28:20).