I love reading Science Fiction (less so now that I have a budget and streaming services...I'm off track!). I remember reading a book when I was a kid called "Dune" in which a character named Paul, trained to be the head of his noble house, would repeat a mantra that always began with "I will not fear, fear is the mind-killer." In the day and age of panic over Corvid-19, aren't these words true? But it goes deeper than killing our mind. Fear points us to worship that which we fear. For example, in Judges, when a nation would conquer the tribes of Israel, they would tremble, and fear, even though God promised them victory over the peoples of the land they inhabited. Eventually, they would remember God and cry out to Him, but they forgot their victories in Him. Throughout the Old Testament, and even in the new, we see people throwing themselves at their fear, not in victory through Christ, but in an attempt to appease their fears. So far removed from the last writing in the Bible, we're not so different, you and I. What are things we fear, and thus become idol worshipers? We fear growing old, so we chase after vitality; we fear growing bored, so we seek entertainment; we fear losing our beauty, so we obsess over our bodies and health; we fear losing our income, so we obsess over work; we fear losing our spouses/significant others, so we obsess over our relationships; we fear being disconnected, so we're constantly glued to our phones and social media; we fear our team will lose, so we obsess over sports; we fear a virus so we obsess over toilet paper- should I go on? What would it look like if, instead, we approached God with the same fear that we do all of the things we dwell on more than Him?
Christians, I'm not appealing to the rest of the world, but I am making an appeal to you. I, too, fall in to Idol worship without even realizing it. In silence, I have to fill it with music, entertainment, and so many other things. We need to stop and take an honest evaluation of what we spend our time on and why. I did, and what I discovered I suspect is true for you as well: I chase after other things, giving God only a portion back of His complete and undivided attention to me. James says that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us, but so many of us feel disconnected...perhaps it's the idols in the way, or that we feel we can place around His throne and have it all? Whatever the case may be, we need to tear down the high places, the Baals and Ashera poles, and seek ONLY the Kingdom, and He will provide for our needs. When I approach the throne of Grace fear and trembling, though it is declared I may go boldly, I fear the Lord, I give Him my awe, and wonder, my efforts, and my strength, and He gives me victory, and His presence, and empowers His purposes in me through His Holy Spirit. What will your life show if you do the same?