I know I ought to be in awe of you,
To walk in holy fear,
For you are far and you are near,
Both present and surpassing all I know.
But as I go,
I often show
Ambivalence or apathy and throw
My heart to fleeting treasures here.
Reform my faith this year
And fill my soul with love for what is true.
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Assumptions are funny things.
Nothing here will satisfy me.
Still, these treasures tempt me, try me.
Trust in them will truly guide me
Straight into the grave.
Only you can satisfy me.
Perfect Father, purify me.
Set me free and ever guide me.
Only you can save.
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Little children, keep yourselves from idols,
Works of our own hands. Voices–our voices–
Call us to cast off all righteous bridles,
Chastise us for limiting our choices.
Choose you then this day your lord, your master.
Choose the voice you trust above all others.
Choose the path to life, avoid disaster.
Heed the voice of reason, sisters, brothers.
Learn distrust of self, for self is often
Led astray by varied vices. Passions
Harden hearts to truth. Consciences soften,
Filled with fleshly fears and fleeting fashions.
Build upon the only sure foundation.
Idols only lead you to starvation.
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You save us from idolatry
The call to bear the killing tree
Is healing ointment.
“Take up your cross and follow me” –
We do not know the depths of sin
Within our being.
We fight against but cannot win;
But you, all seeing,
Stepped into time to work for men
From forces that devise the fall
Of your creation.
Depravity common to all
Met its damnation.
Now hear, all broken hearts, his call:
In you, we hope. For you, we wait.
You are provider.
You know our weakness, our estate;
Your grace is wider.
You bear our sin and fix our fate,
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Last week, I wrote that the word of God discerns in us what we fail to discern ourselves, and I tried to show how this cutting work serves to draw us nearer to God. But what do we do when God reveals idolatry in our hearts? How should we respond when God highlights some object or dream or comfort or person and reveals to us our unhealthy attachment? The answer, I think, lies in how we understand gifts.
We are a people prone to adulation
Who often are audacious with our praise.
Provoking conflagration, we
Resist all abrogation. See!
The idols are the masters of our days.
Such worship is a devastating blaze.
Idolatry is no anachronism;
All ages suffer its asperity.
Discern the serpent’s schism. See
The apposite baptism. We
Reject apocryphal authority
And trade acerbic lies for clarity.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a person’s relationship status can easily become an idol. Individuals sacrifice time, money, and emotional well being to serve this ever hungry god, finding again and again that the idol can never truly be appeased. No matter how much you give, you will find this false god always demanding more. Continue reading
Perceptions of obedience to Christ
Are often apprehended by our hopes.
And flesh, the lowly subject, turns to heist,
And seeks to send the true service to the ropes.
For in our work for heaven, we presume
To warrant some promotion, pleasure, prize.
Desire conceived breeds sin within the womb.
The idol soon is fixed before our eyes.
Conviction then gives contest to the beast,
Reminding us that God is not so poor.
And we, in comfort, trust that he will give,
And see our Maker merely as a door.
Through subtlety the serpent can subvert
A heart for holiness to lust for dirt.
Is anger justified in you
Who sees your plans frustrated?
Who feels your life berated?
Whose choices are debated?
Do you do well to take the hue
Of anger in your manner?
Of squalor as your banner?
And rage against the Planner?
Are there no better fights to fight
That you should mourn the passing
Of selfishly amassing
These treasures unsurpassing?
Are you so blinded by the night
That fleeting follies fill you?
That Jesus does not imbue?
That you forget your rescue?