Recently we saw, as we were living in Portugal for many many years how the Catholic Church there celebrates 13th May, in Fatima which is a centre of worship and veneration of Mary, of Fatima. There is a story mixed up in this devotion of an apparition at the beginning of the 20th Century.
I saw the cities and villages there celebrating the various saints, the many processions, and images walking down the streets, with great expressions of devotion. We condemn this as “evangelicals” and “protestants.” We condemn the idolatry. However what we condemn, we may also be condemning ourselves.
If we think the Catholic Church has her idols, our churches also have theirs. We may have substituted our images, with idols in the heart, in the invisible realms.
We may pay great importance to the form of worship, until we are worshipping our forms of worship. Can that constitute a idol?
We pay great pride in our so called “Biblical Revelation” and yet lift the so called “Word” we preach. Could that not also be an idol?
We may use lights and smoke…could that not be an idol?
And the titles…apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher…could that be also an idol?
What the Lord showed me the last few months is that He visits those who seek Him. He is not looking for theology. He is not looking for a circle of influence. He is looking for our hearts.
I was admiring the seeking people who live in Monasteries, the way they live and work. In Buckfast Abbey, I saw at close quarters after staying there a few days, that there was a presence of the Spirit there, and the life of prayer of those who live there. The Church opening at 5.45 every morning, for prayers. The prayers were all Word of God. The day was punctuated with prayer and Bible Study. I saw and studied the lifestyle of St. Benedict, who places Bible Study and prayer in various places during a 24 hour period.
The form of worship and prayer may not be what I was accustomed to, but I sensed God, as we sought Him together.
What the Lord says to me, is our measure of idolatry is wrong. The highest form of idolatry is putting ourselves in front of God, and taking His Glory for ourselves.
Once we do the first thing Yeshua commands, to take up our own Cross, then we will be better discerners of what is true idolatry.
So unless we take our own idols out of our heart, let us not judge the devotion of others. They will first answer to God. Then we will respond to Him for the way we walk and the direction we walk in.
The move of the HOLY SPIRIT, where times of refreshing will come, will come to those who truly seek Him. Let us not take it for granted that our modern church will be in line, unless we seek Him with a passion.