Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Setting aside idols

In the summer of '09 I went to Tanzania. We traveled around quite a bit in the western half of the country mostly close to the lake. We shared the Gospel and cleared roads. We built foundations for churches and researched where the Gospel had not reached. In one remote village we had an interesting encounter.

While we were there we taught children Bible stories, baptized new believers, and did all manner of missionary endeavor. I was usually playing roles of support getting things done in the backgrounds this summer, but one day Pastor Mikos one or two other people and I were approached by a man of that village. He wished for us to come to his home so that we may talk.

As we entered his small home I took notice of his sleeping mat on the floor and two even smaller rooms on each side. He sat us down and began to confess his sins. He had two wives and had been very cruel with them. He would often beat them and get drunk as he pleased. As he confessed his sins he began to gather up small vials of liquid that were hanging around the room, especially over openings like windows and doors. He explained to us that he had trusted in these vials that he had purchased for quite a bit of money(in the villages terms he was somewhat wealthy) from a local witchdoctor to keep evil spirits out of his home. But with the Gospel being preached he wanted to put away his old self and become new in Christ. He was confessing his sins and wanted to stop beating his wives, stop drinking, and most importantly he wanted us to dispose of his vials. The things he had put his trust in to keep him safe. As I write this it seems so very difficult to express how moving this was for me as this man put aside all the things that he trusted in to make Christ his only source of protection.

And I have to wonder at times when I put too much trust in things nowadays. We often think idolatry is something of the past in primitive cultures and that the worship of idols is not something we need to worry about in modern culture. But idolatry is alive and well in our culture too as people put their trust in money, insurance, governments, and many other things. I just warn you not to put trust in these things that can never satisfy and will ultimately ALWAYS fail you. Your trust should be in God alone, nothing else can substitute.

For His Glorious Name,

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