Monday, March 15, 2010

Chapter 10: The Obstacle of Idolatry

This week we'll be reading John 4:1-15 and answering the question:
In what ways can you see yourself in this woman?

The Lord purposefully had us stop at verse 15 in our homework and not hear the woman's confession. Here we know that she is a Samaritan woman although we won't refer to her as the Samaritan Woman. I am sure she had a reputation where she lived and we need not put that title on her here. Because when we do, we look down on her and consider ourselves so much the better. So, no, we won't look at her through those eyes or frame of mind. Instead we'll look at her as our Samaritan sister.

One definition the American Heritage Dictionary provides for the word idolater is "one who blindly or excessively adores a person or thing." The word blindly here jumps out at me because indeed idolatry is deception. Something/someone has taken the place of God in our lives and deceived us into thinking it will satisfy us. But it is a lie! Only Jesus can do that.

I love it that here Jesus is asking her for a drink (v.7) and she sees limitations in the situation (v.9) and when he offers her living water (v.10) she notes what she thinks are limitations in Him in verses 11 and 12.

9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. how can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

How often do we find ourselves in this place. Thinking we are unworthy to receive from our Lord? Doubting His ability to fulfill us in every way? Questioning His authority?

But what I love about her is that even with all these questions, doubts, and feelings of unworthiness, she was plain old tired of seeking fulfillment in other people. She was tired of being an idol worshipper. She wanted to be a worshipper of God who does so in spirit and truth (v. 23-24). No more blind adoration of a false god. Now true worship of the LIVING GOD! Can you hear the tiredness in her voice in verse 15:

The woman said to him, 'Sir,give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

How do I see myself in Sister Samaritan?
1. I am plain old tired of having idols before my God
2. I have sought fulfillment in the work of my own hands and not allowed the Lord complete control

What do I mean by this. Plainly put--anytime I dive into anything without covering it in prayer I am telling God I don't need Him, I know best. I know AWFUL, but true. But it doesn't have to be my truth. My Samaritan Sister spoke truthfully to Jesus in confessing her idol worshipping and we can too. He's not put off by it. What does grieve Him though is when we know we have an idol and refuse to stop blindly worshipping it to begin worshipping the Father in spirit and truth.

Let's stopped being deceived. Idolatry doesn't have to be bowing our knees to a graven image. It is us blindly or excessively adoring a person or thing. It is putting someone/something in the place that only belongs to God. It is seeking fulfillment in anything/anyone other than HIM even if momentarily. There's no specific time frame when it comes to idolatry.

Father, I pray that as we continue our journey to breaking free that You would give us each ears to hear and eyes to see. Give us a teachable spirit and a humble and contrite heart. I know that it is not enough to know the issue, we must be willing to change. Help us. I surrender my will to You and pray my sisters do the same. Help us to see that which the enemy has used to keep us blind and the lies he has told us that we have believed. May the light of Jesus expose all darkness. Father, help us to continue to battle confidently knowing it is not by our strength or might but by the power of Holy Spirit. Strengthen each of us and help to encourage one another. Forgive any and all idolatry in our lives. Thank You for bringing conviction of sin to us and continue to do so. We renounce all idolatry in the name of Jesus and confess to Your Glory that Jesus is our Savior and LORD of our lives. All this I pray in Jesus' name. Amen!

1 comment:

  1. We must certainly have the desire to change. Not only the situation but ourselves...minds need to be renewed and hearts need to be turned back to our Creator.


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14