In reference to the last session of the BootCamp Bible Study I’m leading at Union Memorial UMC, here’s another guest Blog from my pastor, Reverend Otto Harris:
Okay, so, you shared with us how the lesser gods (particularly the 2 Kings 17:24 crowd) tend to hang around even with those who fear the Lord. You inspired me during the last session and in your previous articles to be more attentive about the potential idols in my life.
I was drawn to 1 Samuel 5:1-5 during the last Boot Camp session, where the Ark of God was taken from the Israelites by the Philistines and they had the nerve to place it in the temple of Dagon, their fish/harvest/fertility god. The Ark of God represented the Shekinah glory, the presence of the Lord. So the presence of the Lord was introduced to the presence of this lesser god.
In the middle of the night, while there was nothing in the temple but the Ark of God and Dagon, Dagon was thrown down. And the people propped it back up, picked it up off of its face, and continued to worship it. Here it is, this dumb idol that had fallen before the presence of the Lord. And it could not even pick itself up. The people had to prop it up. And then they worshipped it. How many of those things listed on the white board during your lesson (money, education, cars, houses, relationships, associations, heroes, celebrities, etc.) do we (day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade) have to prop up (pay for dues, fees, tuitions, and maintenance with our tears, freedom, time, and money) so that we can worship them?
Those white board things are not all bad within themselves. But when I place my security in those things, and have those things as my source of joy, and give those things precedence over my relationship with my Lord, I have propped them up as an idol.
The Lord has a way of throwing them down and smashing them apart, revealing their powerlessness, and in turn, the Lord’s power for, in, and through the Lord’s people. If I go before the Lord’s presence with transparency and vulnerability, the Lord will throw down those lesser gods that I prop up so that I may find security, joy, and liberty in the Lord. I pray that I/we learn to not prop the lesser gods back up. If it has fallen and can’t get up, I say let it stay down. I think this fits within what the Apostle Paul describes as “working out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12). Theologians call that sanctification. Big Mama ‘Nem said “I’m not what I ought to be, but I’m sure not what I used to be.” I say, “Have your way, Lord!”
Union Memorial UMC
“…peacocks strut because they can’t fly.” – Dr. Cornel Ronald West
Check back tomorrow for my response to Pastor’s response…Lol…(lots of responding going on, no doubt (smile)) Anyway, it’s some pretty self revealing stuff. See you tomorrow<3 Blessings & Strength, Alaina O.
(The Bible study, Boot Camp for the Mind & Spirit, is a 12 weeks series being taught on Tuesdays at 6:45pm at Union Memorial UMC (1012 E. Lee Street, Greensboro, NC). If you can’t make it in person, click here to watch us Livestream.
If you’re not cultivating your God made self, you cultivate in vain!