When thinking about the fear of the Lord and how we are supposed to keep a holy reverence toward the Lord, I am reminded as to why this is difficult for many of us to do.
When God created mankind, he created us in His image (Gen. 1:27). God made us to reflect Him. We are to mirror his attributes, but sadly because of sin, we are a dim mirror. And rather than mirroring the creator, we tend to commit idolatry. In our sin, we create a god after our image, instead of reflecting the one who created us.
I’ve spoken with many people who do this very thing and justify it. Whenever we are faced with a truth from the Scripture and say something along the lines of, “well I don’t believe God is really like that” or “My god would never do something like that,” we have created a god in our own image. What we’ve created isn’t a god, but a poor reflection of ourselves.
This form of idolatry is prevalent in our world today, because we would rather worship ourselves than the God who gave us life. We would rather God be like us, than for us to have to change and be like Him. This is the heart of all idolatry – creating a god that can serve us, rather than a God that we serve.
When this sort of idolatry has formed in our heart, we struggle to do as the Scriptures command, which is to treat God as holy. We have made him as unholy as we are. This is the opposite of salvation. In salvation, we are made holy by him. In idolatry, He is made unholy through us.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. We cannot gain knowledge or wisdom from a god created after our own imaginations. That god cannot impart things like wisdom to us because he doesn’t really exist. We need the God who created all things to impart wisdom and knowledge to us and this only comes when we treat Him as holy and set apart.
So where do we start?
1. We look for any idolatry in our life. As always the first step is to admit that you have a problem. Idolatry is not always little Buddha statues sitting in our living room. More often than not, it’s found in the areas of our lives that we are not holding onto the truth of God’s word and that we have replaced that truth with a lie aka an idol.
2. We root it out. Once we have found the idolatry in our lives, we must work to get rid of it. In the book of Kings, you find that the good Kings of Israel would go up to the high places and destroy the idols that people had put there. We have to look into our heart’s high places and overturn any idols we have setup. The mountain tops are where we are to worship God, not ourselves.
3. We embrace the truth. Once the idols are removed, we will replace those idols with something else. The question is what? We must replace idolatry with truth. The truth about God found in his word is the key to keeping your heart clear of any idolatry. If you fail to do this, you will find that as soon as you have overturned one idol thought about God, it will be replaced with two more.
As you go through today, pray for God to reveal your heart. Listen to what he says about any idolatry you may have in your life. Where are you exchanging the truth of God for a lie? Find those areas and root them out. The fear of the Lord will fill your heart and set you free.
“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” – Romans 1:24-25