If “American Idol” or the latest reality show proves anything it’s that people like to get caught up in things with other people. There is no shortage of news junkies, political movements, rock and roll groupies, or “save the whale” supporters. And it’s more than the viewing – it’s the incessant talk about whatever it is we’re wrapped up in; if my favorite football team is doing well, I can’t help but talk about it. Most of us are groupies of some sort whether we admit it or not. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it could be – but not necessarily.
Definition of an Idol: Has it Mastered us?
Of course the easiest way to make sure we’re not too wrapped up in something is to examine whether or not it has mastered us. Is it something we merely enjoy or does our immersion go deeper? Is it something we feel we can’t live without? Is it something we rearrange our schedules to participate in? Do we get upset if we miss the latest episode, game, or debate? If it’s more than something we merely enjoy, chances are we’ve fallen into practical idolatry. In one sense, idolatry is something we’re willing to sin to obtain. And yes, being angered by an unexpected circumstance that prevents us from seeing the grand finale of our favorite event is sinning to get what we want, or at least sinning because we don’t have what we want. These are heart issues.
Being Part of Something Bigger Than Ourselves
But the question is why we get caught up in these things. The truth is that we are created to be part of something bigger than ourselves. There are all kinds of things that will fill that need or desire more or less. And yet there is one thing that’s bigger than ourselves that we can, should, and even must get caught up in if we are to find the true fulfillment and satisfaction we’re longing for and be pleasing to the Lord at the same time: Him and His Kingdom. It is the Kingdom of God that provides for us the greatest and only truly significant movement of which we could ever be a part. It is God’s kingdom that is inexorably advancing in this world; it is God’s kingdom that the gates of Hell cannot keep from encroaching into its territory and ultimately destroying; it is God’s kingdom that is unshakable and eternal; it is God’s kingdom that gives life real meaning.
Daniel offers a powerful statement concerning the coming of Christ into the world five-hundred years in his future (two-thousand years in our past) and the establishment of this kingdom. He declares, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” How can we as Christians not get caught up in such a kingdom? How could we ever consider American politics, as important as it is, of any real significance and satisfaction compared to laboring in this kingdom (perhaps in the political arena with a God-agenda as opposed to a mere party-agenda)? Talk about being part of something big and having something to talk about!
Getting Caught Up in the Biggest Movement
Remember, speaking about the age in which we now live, the Bible says this: “God has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made (the Old Covenant with its physical realities including the earthly kingdom of Israel), that the things which cannot be shaken (the New Covenant with its spiritual realities including the spiritual Kingdom of God) may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom (now) which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:26-28). That’s a big movement; let’s get caught up in that.
Dr. Paul Dean, http://www.trueworldview.com