This is what God gave me today in his word:
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:19-21)
I find it interesting, how John is going along, talking about how Satan can’t touch the Christian; how the world lies in the power of the Devil. All these incredibly ‘deep’ truths, then as if an after thought, he adds, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” This is how John chooses to end his first letter. With a warning to children to keep themselves from idols. Not with some deep truth, like, for example, this person gives us (I’m kidding here):
“Meditative prayer like that we experienced in the labyrinth resonates with hearts of emerging generations.”—Dan Kimball, Vintage Faith
But instead, with a little warning to little children to stay away from idols. Why end that way? Isn’t it better to go out with a bang? Better to make your letters memorable beyond belief, via giving some deep ethical truth that no one can understand?
Wouldn’t it have been for John to end memorably?
The reality is that John did end with a “deep truth”. – He had formerly told us of the three stages of a Christian; a little child; a young man; a father. Now he’s talking to those who are Spiritually children (for all we know, this could be a 80 year old man). – Keep yourselves from idols; This statement is incredibly important. Not just for (Spiritually) little children, but for everyone: An idol doesn’t necessarily have to be a golden calf (→). It can be anything: a bicycle, food, money, cars, even family. And if while you’re ‘young’ you fall to the temptation of making an idol out of something/someone… I’ll put it this way: it’s much harder to remove something that has grown deep roots into your heart, than it is to remove something that you hate. As Solomon says:
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
That can be good or bad. If you grow up with an idol, you’re practically training yourself to love that idol. As I’ve already said, anything can be an idol. That’s why we need Christ’s-all-inclusive-mind-protection-package (free for the next: eternity); including, but by no means limited to: a temptation proof mind-filter, salvation, eternal life. – The point is this: When either of us is tempted with idolatry, and we will be, we must go to God. If don’t, we will be over-whelmed and overcome.
Do you have any idols in your life that you haven’t gotten rid of (by praying for strength to resist/get rid of the idol. If it’s your family or friends, you don’t actually get rid of them. You just make sure your relationship with God is better than with them, along with praying etc)? Family, friends, money?
You are Loved!