Chapter 9

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Chapter 9
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Chapter 11

Widow for a Season: Finding Your Identity in Christ

Chapter Nine: The Idol Mask


   Idolatry is the practice of substituting anything in the place of Christ or our trust in Him.  It is what we receive emotional peace and reassurance from outside of God alone.  Because as widows we struggle with loneliness and sometimes empty spaces in our lives we are especially vulnerable.  2 Chronicles 29:3 — 2 Chronicles 31:21 tells the story of Hezekiah, the people of Judah, and their victory in utterly destroying idolatry from the land for a reign of twenty-nine years.  We will develop a personal application of that process in our own lives by exposing our own idols and discovering what they represent to us.  As we learn to substitute Christ and our relationship with Him in their place we will begin to experience a personal freedom from their bondage.


Chapter Nine - The Idol Mask 


Perhaps you will be surprised to learn that the exposure of subtle idolatrous practices can play an important part in a widow’s struggle for recovery.  Some might suggest that compared to other places and other times, the sin of idolatry certainly is not an issue in our nation today.  While it is true that some of the obviously idolatrous ritual practices of Buddism and Shintoism may not play a large part in our “Christian” culture, we have replaced carved images and pagan shrines with equally harmful attitudes and behaviors.  In fact, however, these less visible practices can be so subtle that we struggle to identify them.  Let’s define more specifically what the practice of idolatry involves.  Very simply, idolatry is the substitution of a dependence on something else — anything else — for our trust in God. We must go before God and honestly ask Him to reveal what is in our heart concerning the issue of trust.      

     God wants to expose the idolatry that exists in our heart, so He can cleanse us and draw us to Himself. Satan, however, will use everything at his disposal to keep us in bondage to that idolatry. He knows our weaknesses. He observes our need and offers just the right God-substitutes to meet it. Let’s look at loneliness, for example.  We may find ourselves struggling with the loss of companionship when our husbands die.  Filling that void outside of Christ is idolatry whether we fill it with eating, shopping, reading, or movies.  There is nothing wrong with any of these activities in and of themselves, but they can be used for the purpose of filling the void of loneliness that we should be letting Christ fill.  The hard reality for many is that God is not enough on a daily basis, and the Biblical truth that Christ is sufficient for all circumstances is not our experience. Until we admit the insufficiency of Christ in our lives, we will not be able to identify and change our own subtle idolatrous practices.