If Jesus is your greatest love, the highest authority, and the only hope, then wouldn’t it make sense that we should know Him, love Him, and follow Him?
“How do I do that?”
Jesus describes our relationship with him in these ways:
“If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15)
“Follow me” (Matthew 4:19)
“Love God with everything you are and love people as well.” (Matthew 22:37-38, paraphrased)
In Isaiah 44, God declares that He is, well, God, and there is nothing and no one that can compare to Him. (6-8)
The problem is that we serve other gods, we love other things, we submit to the authority of other people, and we put our hope in things that are not God.
Another word for this is idolatry. When we love, seek satisfaction in, and delight in people, things, hobbies, and actions that are not God, this is idolatry.
Tim Keller says that our hearts are idol factories. We can turn even good things into ultimate things.
What are the ultimate things in your life?
If your phone was taken away, would you lose control? If you couldn’t have your xbox or ps4 anymore, would you lose all joy in life? If your boyfriend or girlfriend dumped you, would you become depressed? Can you not go to sleep until you have watched 6 episodes of your favorite Netflix show?
God declares that all idols (and the people that pursue them) shall be put to shame together.
Read the description of the man who uses a created thing as his idol in verses 12-17 of Isaiah 44. He bows down and calls out to a thing he fashions, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” When we elevate the gift above the Giver, or worship something created over the Creator, our hearts will become hardened, we will not be able to see the absurdity of our actions, and God may allow us to continue down the road of worshiping idols to our destruction (verses 18-20).
“What should we do?”
The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin as we read the Word of God. Pray for God to reveal your idols, and “break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places” (Deuteronomy 12:3). Rid yourself of the things you are placing before God. Exodus 20:3, the first commandment, says “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Another application is to learn and understand your created purpose. God’s response to us is in the next couple of verses:
Isaiah 44:21 “Remember these things … I formed you; you are my servant.”
Isaiah 44:24 “I am the LORD, who made all things.”
God created us. We have a purpose, just like every other created thing. We were created in the image of God, to know Him, to love Him, and to live in His world as He designed it. God has saved us, called us to Himself, revealed His love to us through the life and death of Jesus Christ the Son, and has raised Him to life so that we can have victory over sin and death to be in an eternal loving relationship with our Heavenly Father. Praise God for His goodness, love, and grace to His most special creation, His children!