The Illusion of Control

July 7, 2020

15 The idols of the nations are of silver and gold, made by human hands. 16 They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 17 They have ears but cannot hear; indeed, there is no breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.

Psalm 135:15-18

Written by Jill VanAusdall from the Brentwood Campus

Have you ever been to a wax museum? It’s incredible to me how realistic they can make the life-size figures appear! They meticulously mold and carve the eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and even the shape of the body to look just like the well-known person being depicted, down to the clothing they are wearing. I have to admit it is rather creepy, because the wax figure is so realistic. Still, they lack depth in their eyes. They have no emotion, body language or voice. They just stand or sit and look beautiful and shiny.

When I read Psalm 135:15-18, a picture of Elvis Presley in wax flashed through my mind. Where I grew up just north of Memphis, Tennessee, Elvis was idolized. He was the king of rock and roll, and many people still roll into Memphis to take a tour of Graceland and cry at his grave.

It seems ludicrous that anyone would make an object to be worshiped out of silver and gold. Someone would use their hands to refine the metal and then mold and sculpt it. Then they bow down before the very idol they just made—an idol that can do absolutely nothing. Insane, right?

The picture painted in this scripture is so precise. What the nations loved and what they felt held the most value was silver and gold. Before silver and gold is mined, refined, molded and carved, you have no control over it. But once the idol is created, it can be managed and controlled. It’s that simple—or is it?

Idols come in many shapes and sizes. An idol can be money, work, technology, sports, gaming, your body, and even ministry, to name a few. What we value most in life is where we invest our time and attention. But because we are consumed by this thing or this goal, it also shapes what we eventually become.

Satan will use an idol to seduce us so we will be distracted from God’s purpose for our lives. He knows when we take our eyes off of God, we will become absorbed by the idols we have created with our own hands. We find ourselves bowing down, enslaved by something that does not speak, see, hear or care. These idols we thought we could control are now controlling us and destroying us, our families, and even those who are watching from a distance.

God cannot be controlled. God speaks to us through His Word. He sees us, He hears our prayers, and He cares deeply for us. Make God the center of your life. Don’t put anything or anyone before the One who created you!

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Have you ever observed a friend who was consumed by an idol?
  2. Do some idols appear to be good for you? Name a few.
  3. Take a self-inventory. Do you need to break free from any idols?