Their vast beauty is amazing, in every season of the year. Row after row of blue hues, smoky clouds and waterfalls, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina are one of the most visited locations in the U.S. Living not too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, my husband and I took a drive last weekend to be awed at God’s creative beauty. While speechlessly gazing into the distance, another car filled with girls stopped at the overlook. They sat in the car taking selfies, seemingly not noticing the mountains right next to them, only admiring their personal beauty instead.
Too many today are consumed with self, the god they worship. In conversations they boast about themselves, their possessions, their skills and accomplishments and their looks while paying no attention to others. Great amounts of money are spent on shining their idol, keeping its outward appearance glowing. If someone seeks to destroy their idol, they lash out, mock, and hate others. The idol is never satisfied and needs constant attention and maintenance. Eventually, in utter exhaustion these people lose hope. As the idol crumbles so do they. And the results: Those who have “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…are filled with envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” (Romans 1:25, 29-31)
However, the great Creator God, the Almighty One “who is worthy of eternal praise.” (Romans 1:25), has the power, love and forgiveness to free others from this self-love and its results. When God said, “You must not have any other god but me.” (Exodus 20:3), He was protecting us. He knew the results and wanted us to instead know His love and not hatred – “I lavish unfailing love…on those who love me.” (Exodus 1:6).
God spoke, “I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and sorry for their sins. I will give new life to those who are humble in spirit. I will give new life to those who are sorry for their sins.” (Isaiah 57:15)
The fruits of worshiping God as the only true God, is life not death, hope not despair. When we smash our selfish idols and run to Him alone, through His son Jesus Christ, He produces His holiness in our lives. His Holy Spirit produces the fruits of love for others, joy in the midst of sorrows, peace in all circumstances, patience with Him and others, kindness toward those who are hateful, goodness in character, faithfulness in keeping our promises, gentleness instead of strife and self-control in our thinking and actions.
Who are you worshiping today? Are you satisfied with the results? Are you willing to throw down the selfie stick and instead raise up God as your only god, who will in turn lavish his love on you?
It’s time to praise God, the Almighty Creator whose beauty reveals himself to us – even in places like the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20