Idols and Mighty Deeds

Decoration image for quotation

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

Exodus 34:14

When God says that he is a jealous God, he means it (Exodus 34:14). God desires that he is the only one to whom we direct our worship, and one of the reasons is so that His power can be demonstrated in our lives.

Idols can be anything that we ascribe power to. Idols can be something as benign as coffee in the morning. If we constantly say, “I need this coffee to get going.” Or “I can’t function without my coffee.”, we are ascribing power to coffee. Now probably in most cases coffee does not become an idol because we don’t put getting our “cup of Joe” ahead of our worship of God.

A trickier idol is the equation “work harder = better results”. While it is true that God wants us to work hard. And it is also true that in most cases our hard work produces more fruit, it is not the rule in God’s Kingdom. The rule is more like: The motivation of our hearts which produces hard work matters, and the fruit is in God’s hands.

That is why a lifestyle of abiding in Christ, or ‘hearing and obeying’ is essential for disciples of Jesus. Our work and the results need to be offered to God as worship. When work and/or results become an idol, they short-circuit God’s power at work through us and affect the fruit that our lives produce. Consider the list of people who Paul highlights for their faith in Hebrews 11. It should also be noted that they devoted themselves to God, they confronted idols in their lives and by an act of will made God the centre of their worship. Through their faith they stepped into a lifestyle of hearing and obeying and opened the possibility for God to act on their behalf with mighty deeds. Our “work harder = better results” idol opposes God by giving power to our work or the earthly physics of the ‘cause and effect’ principle.

Today return your worship to God. Be a person of faith, ‘hear and obey’, and open yourself up to the power of God being displayed in your life.

Share this page

About the author

Profile photo for John Hall

John Hall became the Executive Director at Mission Central (formerly Missions Fest Vancouver) in 2014. In 1997 he, his wife and brother in-law started Eco Outdoor Sports in Metro Vancouver. In 2003 the business was sold, and his family entered a seven-year ‘desert experience’. During that time the Lord impressed on John and his family the importance of hearing and obeying Jesus every day, something that he tries to integrate into everything he does. In 2010 God changed the family’s direction and led him to finish his degree at Regent College in preparation for life as a full-time missionary overseas. Although that ministry opportunity didn’t develop as planned a whole new perspective and participation-in Christ’s mission was born at Missions Fest Vancouver. It’s now a daily occurrence for John’s business background and theological training get a workout.

John and his wife Wei live in Richmond, BC. They have two wonderful adult girls. John completed his MA at Regent College in 2010.

Church
Church
The Tapestry Church (Richmond, BC)
Organization
Organization
Mission Central (Burnaby, BC) — Executive Director

Series: Hearing and Obeying—Devotionals

See all Read more...
Devotional

Count the Cost

Have you counted the cost of being a disciple? Go to Jesus, lay out your concerns before him, and ask for his perspective on your struggle.Read more Read more...

Devotional

Love Your Enemies

If you have an enemy in your life, if someone hates you, consider how Jesus is asking you to go to them? Hearing and obeying requires embodied action.Read more Read more...

Devotional

Holiness and Obedience

Our goals, the accumulation of power, and things that we spend so much time on may have less importance than we may be willing to admit.Read more Read more...

Devotional

Obedience In, Joy Out

God’s economy doesn’t work in a paradigm of effort in - reward out. In the paradigm of hearing and obeying everything rests on love and intimacy.Read more Read more...

More on Mission Central

Random entries from

Article

Prayer for the Front Line

Updates and a call to pray for front-line mission workers around the world.Read more Read more...

Devotional

Circumstances

Sometimes we have selective hearing. Consider the tension between hearing and doing, and hearing and waiting—the issue of timing.Read more Read more...

Article

Is Mission a Thing?

The people of God are invited to participate in God’s mission. This is a big task, nothing short of the redemption and restoration of the cosmos.Read more Read more...

Devotional

Count the Cost

Have you counted the cost of being a disciple? Go to Jesus, lay out your concerns before him, and ask for his perspective on your struggle.Read more Read more...

Random entries from

Article

Eighteen Barrels and Two Big Crates

How and why our “stuff” gets in the way of our witness.Read more Read more...

Devotional

Altar Vision Devotional - Week 6

If God doesn’t control all my life, does he have any of my life?Read more Read more...

Mission Resource

Introducing: Linking Global Voices

Mission Central is proud to be listed on "Linking Global Voices", for collaboration among mission-minded people.Read more Read more...

Article

A Transition Toolbox

For when you look like a local but don't FEEL like a localRead more Read more...