Little children, keep yourselves from idols—1 John 5: 21.
We are not to put our trust in leaders, but in the Lord. This does not signify that we are not to trust leaders, and not to acknowledge leaders, for all the history of the Lord's dealings with His people, the typical as well as the antitypical, shows us that He is pleased to use human agencies as His representatives in the teaching and leading of His people from grace to grace, from knowledge to knowledge. The lesson to be learned is that the Lord is thoroughly competent to manage His own work, and that while we may look for His leading through human agencies, our trust is not in them, their wisdom, their strength, but in the Lord's wisdom and strength, guiding them and us through them.
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Idols are not always gross physical images. They are all physical, mental, moral and religious objects other than Jehovah to which people bow down and render supreme devotion. That to which one renders supreme devotion is his God; and if this be not Jehovah, it is an idol. Thus viewed, we see that some make idols of their creeds, denominations, sects, themselves, their ambitions, appearance, clothes, ease, education, position, popularity, safety, opinions, rights, appetites, home, property, families, titles, friends, country, leaders, the opposite sex, etc. It is these idols that are alluring to us who refrain from serving the gross idols of the heathen; and it is especially from these idols that the Apostle exhorts us to keep ourselves. To indulge in such idolatry, means to go back on our consecration—whereby we vowed to be dead to self and the world and to be alive to God—and to become servants of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness at the behest of Satan.
Parallel passages: 1Cor. 10: 7-14; Ex. 32: 23-26; 2Cor. 6: 17; Ex. 20: 3-6; 1Sam. 15:
23; Psa. 16: 4; 44: 20; Josh. 24: 23; Jonah 2: 8, 9; 1Cor. 6: 9; Rev. 9: 20; 21: 8.
Questions: Have I kept myself this week from idols? How? Under what conditions?
What helped or hindered therein? With what results?
I CANNOT think but God must know
About the thing I long for so;
I know He is so good, so kind,
I cannot think but He will find
Some way to help, some way to show
Me to the thing I long for so!
I stretch my hand: it lies so near.
It looks so sweet, it looks so dear!
"Dear Lord," I pray, "oh, let me know
If it is wrong to want it so!"
He only smiles; He does not speak;
My heart grows weaker and more weak
With looking at the thing so dear,
Which lies so far and yet so near.
"Now, Lord, I leave at Thy dear feet
This thing which looks so near, so sweet;
I will not seek, I will not long;
I almost fear I have been wrong.
I'll go and work the harder, Lord,
And wait till by some loud, clear word
Thou callest me to Thy loved feet
To take this thing so dear, so sweet!"
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