Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
We do not take wood or stones and make idols. We do not pray to statues or prepare food for idols to eat.
It is not with our hands but with our imaginations that we carve out little gods to worship. Just like those who carve out idols with their hands, we make little gods out of our fear and ignorance. Our fundamental problem is that we imagine a God that comes out of our human experience. We imagine God to be like the people we have known in our lives. If we have been raised with impossible expectations, we may find ourselves worshipping the god-of-impossible-expectations. If we have been neglected, we may find ourselves in the service of the god-who-does-not-care. Since these gods do not respond to us when we call, we work harder and harder to please them. We try to be good. We try to be religious. But, we can never do enough. In this way we trade the 'glory of the immortal God' for the very dysfunctional images which arise from our experiences with 'mortal men'.
The good news is that God is not the way we expect. The one true God, the immortal God, is a glorious God. God is a compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in love and mercy.
Lord, you can see how I cling to my little gods.
I have tried so hard to please them.
But, they are harsh and abusive.
I cannot please them.
But I can't seem to get rid of them either.
They are awful little gods, but they are all I know.
I have grown accustomed to them.
I have adapted my expectations to match their smallness.
I am weary to death of the gods who come from shame, Lord.
I long to worship you, God of Grace.
I long to worship You.
You are the God of Glory.
Give me eyes to see you more clearly today.
Give me a heart that hopes in you.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery