Monday, 21 January 2013

what I want, what I really, really want

Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want
So tell me what you want, what you really really want
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want
So tell me what you want, what you really really want
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really
Really really wanna zigazig ah

Remember the Spice Girls?  Yeah, me too.  Know what a zigazig ah is?  Me neither and I probably don’t want to know.  But this verse from their 90’s smash hit Wanna Be accurately describes the condition known to the Bible as idolatry.  That is really, really wanting and needing something that isn’t God (in this case zigazig ah).

Lets talk about two guys.  The first is Carl Frederickson.  His wife died some time back and he never got to take her on the South American holiday she always dreamed about.  When his house is threatened by developers he decides to fly it to South America because in his mind his house embodies his wife and he cannot bear to lose her/it.  He really, really wants to live in that house and have that dream holiday with his wife.

The other guy is Charles Muntz.  He’s a failed explorer.  Everyone thought he cooked up a hokey story about a giant bird in South America and he lost his credibility.  He’s out to prove them wrong and win back his honour.  He really, really wants to find that bird.   

Like all good movies there comes a point in Up when the two main characters have to make a decision: give up their idol to save their life, or chase their idol and lose their life.  I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you who does what…

Can you relate to the Spice Girls or the men in Up?  It’s so easy to point the finger at them, roll your eyes and say “ugh!  Just let it go already, how can you let something be so important to you that you would let it rule your life?”  Their behaviour irritates us because we don't think we suffer from such foolish idolatry; we’re better than that.  But are we?  Take the log out of your eye for a moment and look around your lounge; could you give all of that up?  Really?  Why won’t you tell your friend what you really think about her new boyfriend; is it because you care too much about she will think of you?  Ha!  Snapped!  You and I do have idols which rule our lives!

But we cannot free ourselves from our idolatry.  We need something or someone to come into our lives and replace our love for our idol with the love for something better.  This is ultimately what frees one of the men in Up. He can let his idol go because it has been replaced with a new dream, a better dream.  This is also how God frees us slowly from our idolatry.  He shows us in His Word [the Bible] something better than our idols; He shows us just how much He loves us and the lengths He was willing to go to rescue us.  For while we were enemies of God, Christ died for us.”  As this knowledge sinks deeper and deeper into our souls, we'll exchange our love for things which do not love us, for the only One who does.

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