Jesus taught where are treasure is so is our hearts. We often hear the word idols and think we do not have any statues that we worship so we are okay in that area. But if we value something over our relationship with God then we put that thing physical or not above God, making it an idol. Anything we put in this position will hold us back from experiencing what God has for us. Until we remove it and give it to God we will not be free to do what Jesus has called us to do. We will be ineffective in sharing the message of freedom he called us to proclaim.
“Then some of the leaders of Israel visited me, and while they were sitting with me, this message came to me from the LORD: “Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests?”
Ezekiel 14:1-3 NLT
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favour has come.”
Luke 4:18-19 NLT
A while back my pastor spoke on Jesus reading the words of Isaiah in the synagogue. He likened it to a return/exchange counter where Jesus is waiting to accept your returns and give you something better in return.
We all have areas of our lives that are burnt and have created ashes in our lives. These ashes though not hot anymore keep showing up and keeping us dirty and if not wiped away completely will never go away. Jesus wants to exchange those ashes for beauty.
Some of us like above in Ezekiel have set idols in our hearts. These idols can hinder our lives even if they seem to be important in our lives. Jesus wants to take those idols out of our cupboards and exchange them for something so much better. Some are hidden others are proudly displayed, these idols are even harder to remove than the hidden ones as they have become normalized in our lives. We have arguments to why they are there and ‘valid’ reasons for keeping them right where they are.
Most of us are shackled with something, something binding us that is holding us down. Unforgiveness, debt, divorce, alcohol, sexual abuse, porn, and so much more. If we would only drag ourselves to the exchange table, humbly look at Jesus and ask him to take them from us, he would without hesitation. Then we need to believe he did take them. He will then give us more then we can imagine in return. We must come to Jesus to be freed from the things that work to hold us back from truly experiencing a relationship with him.
Whatever you have in your life that needs to be exchanged take it to him. Jesus is there. He will not judge you. He has heard every excuse before and there is nothing new that will shock him. He is there to take your burdens.
Dear Jesus, we sometimes try to take our life and adjust it our way to make it work. We try to tweak this and that, but we need to just exchange it with Jesus. Take our broken life, our shackles and our idols, exchanging them for something greater. I do not want to be satisfied with mediocre. I thank you, Jesus, that there is no expiry date on exchanges with you. Bring us freedom from the idols that are holding us back from the blessings you have promised us. May we be effective in sharing your love with those around us guiding them to freedom. Amen