Thursday, August 17, 2017

Real Reverence and Awe: True Faith in the True God

The Visible Idolatry of Statism
A Facebook friend astutely pointed out the similarity between the temple of Zeus and the Lincoln “Memorial.” The true religion of our government is statism, and Lincoln is one of many in its pantheon. There is a difference between memorials and temples. As we have seen these last few days,those who worship at the latter sometimes abominate the former. Remembering truly can be an irritating obstacle to worshiping falsely.

Someone truly uninitiated would have no difficulty identifying the gods of our culture, because he would recognize them by their ostentatious temple buildings at the capitols, university campuses, sport team arenas, cineplexes, shopping malls, and theme parks. But only one variety of our deities has ascended to the level of being carved into the side of a mountain (?!). Can it be any wonder that continual vigilance is necessary in the civil arena to restrain our descent into socialism?

The Invisible Glory of the True God
This is one reason why it is so refreshing that the worship of the one true God takes place even in bare rooms, with little pomp, among unimpressive people, respectfully but inexpensively adorned, with little more of note on earth than simple human voices: the God who is worshiped there cannot be contained in any temple, and these unimpressive people He instead gathers to Himself in glory by faith. Those who lack faith cannot see it and "get nothing out of it."

The Silliness of Sight
Shockingly, there are those in the churches who, rather than seeing this as expected, and exerting themselves before God and in pursuit of that requisite faith for themselves and their neighbors... they instead hasten, embarrassed of our earthly unimpressiveness, accessorize their worship with all manner of things to appeal to the senses, as if the Lord of Heaven could thus be made accessible.

The Glorious Substance of Faith
But He is not accessible except through that High Priest who is God Himself, and who became the very Lamb, through whose once-for-all shed blood, we enter the true Holy of Holies in heaven. When the veil tore from top to bottom, those who entered the structure on earth found no one.

Yet those who, believing in Christ, enter Lord's Day by Lord’s Day the simple services of biblically worshiping congregations, find therein not oversized statues or sensory-overloading frenzy or magnificent architectural opulence… but the Living and True God before whom the idols of men are less than dust. We enter heaven itself by faith (Heb 12:18-29).

How Will We Respond?
As Habakkuk emerged from the confusion of sight into the clarity of faith, the clamor of human idolatry ceased to impress him: “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” (Hab 2:20)

Let us be like so many Elijah's, giving little credit to, and having no fear of, the idol worshipers in their fanatic frenzy. They have about them not a spark of power. Let us instead, in simple, humble words of faith look to Him who is invisible and hears even whispers of the heart. Whether His power manifests itself in flames on Mount Carmel, or a young man who overcomes his addiction to pornography, it is for the True God and for His almighty power alone that we seek.

The only God worth worshiping is Himself a consuming fire. And the only acceptable way of worshiping Him is by faith (not sight), in reverence and awe. Heb 12:28-29.

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