Light shone from the Buddhist temple and beckoned worshippers inside. I gazed through open doors at an enormous statue of Buddha. A young man slipped past me and knelt with his face to the ground before the glittering idol. I ached at the emptiness in that place.
As a Western Christian, idolatry seems foreign to me. Why pray to a man-made statue or spend money on sacrifices, when it could be used to purchase daily necessities? It’s easy to think that this issue does not affect me, to gloss over all that Scripture has to say about it. And yet, idolatry is an issue of the heart. It is a matter of trust. As such, it has great relevance—even to modern believers.
The Burmese worshippers at the Buddhist temple came searching for something. Assistance. Fulfillment. Protection. They trust Buddha to meet those needs and are willing to sacrifice to prove their devotion. Though I have never bowed before a statue, I’ve looked countless times to things to meet my needs. I’ve run to people before seeking the face of God, and I’ve gone to the refrigerator to numb an emotional need.
I run to these things for help or fulfillment. These are my idols, and they are as real as Buddha in a temple. They often hide behind good, sound reasoning. They may not be inherently evil. Maybe they are even good things. But if so, I must remember they are gifts and not givers. Like cracked cisterns, they offer no true fulfillment when I look to them instead of God. They leave me dry, empty, and needy.
God is a Fountain of Living Water. His waters are like a bubbling brook—always fresh, always available, and always satisfying. He delights in meeting every one of our needs—spiritual, emotional and physical.
Has the Lord identified an idol in your life? He longs to satisfy your deepest needs. Ask Him to teach you to find your fulfilment in Him.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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