Excerpt from “The Folly of King Solomon” sermon on 1 Kings 11, October 11, 2015
In the first post on idolatry, we have considered what idolatry looks like in the life of the Christian. In the second post, we have reviewed some diagnostic steps that will help us to identify idolatry in our hearts. Now, how do we defeat it?
· Repent when you recognize these idols, call sin SIN and leave it behind as the terrible evil that it really is. If God is convicting you, don’t turn your back on him. Turn away from idols.
· Pray. Ask God to reveal Himself as more glorious, more desirable than anything else. Pursue the excellence of Christ in prayer, wrestle with God for joy and satisfaction in Him.
· Read the Bible. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind – study the Word of God, meditate on it, grow in knowledge and application of the Bible. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
· Give Thanks to God for everything: Memorize this question from 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Apply this as an antidote to pride, as a guard to your heart, as a reminder to give God thanks and glorify Him.
· Be a Disciple. Be engaged with your church. Don’t just show up to services, although that’s a good start. Hear the Word preached together, sing, pray, confess and give thanks together. Be in community with other church members during the week – community group, hospitality, prayer meetings, go for coffee, serve one another, study the Bible together. Use your community of believers to help you recognize hidden idols, root them out and smash them!
As you apply these things to your own life, remember to pray for Christian leaders. Think about the fall of some Christian celebrities in recent times. Dreadful news of spiritual disaster can come from surprising places.
“We are never doing so well that we are beyond the need of grace. We are never doing so badly that we are beyond the reach of God’s grace.” Jerry Bridges
Do you want a really hopeful word in the conclusion? I said in the introduction to my sermon on King Solomon’s idolatry, “As it goes with the king, so it goes with the people.”
We don’t follow in the Legacy of King Solomon. Our king is Jesus. Are you feeling better yet?
King Jesus is not only mighty to save, He really is FOR us. He invites us to come to Him and receive full forgiveness because He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He invites us to come to Him FOREVER because He rose from the dead, defeating the power of sin and death. He has, as the Only Righteous King and Saviour, fulfilled all the conditions of the law that stood against us. We can REST in Him, forgiven, justified and counted righteous in Him by FAITH ALONE.
Avoiding idolatry is easy in the sense that we simply keep looking to him, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Think about Matthew 11:25-30. Take comfort in the Saviour’s invitation to rest. We can’t keep ourselves from idols, but Jesus will help us. Jesus can be our joy and our delight. Desiring and enjoying God will be the only power that will overwhelm the futility of idolatry. Christ will keep us from idols by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is GRACE. Walk in it.