The Thessalonians had been idol worshipers—but they had made a 180-degree turnabout. They had broken away from idols and now served the one true God. Not only did they serve God, but they patiently awaited the return of His Son, the risen Lord Jesus.
Here we see the three great evidences of faith: (1) You turn. (2) You serve. (3) You wait for Jesus to return.
An idol is anything that takes the place in our lives where God belongs.
You might say, "But Michael, I don't worship idols. I've never bowed down to an idol in my life. This passage doesn't apply to me."
Please understand, an idol is not merely a little god fashioned out of tin or stone. An idol is anything—or anyone—that occupies our attention, our finances, and our time. An idol is anything or anyone that controls us. An idol is anything that takes the place in our lives where God belongs. Our idols today might be selfish ambitions, the accumulation of wealth and power, an infatuation with another person, an addiction to a substance or a behavior, or an obsession with pleasure and fun.
Many of us who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior would have to admit that these are idols in our lives. By the grace of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we need to declare that we hereby turn away from these idols, and we turn to the living God.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for setting up idols in Your place. Reveal them to me so that I may repent and turn away from them and to You. May I joyfully serve Your Kingdom as I await the return of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"With whom will you compare me or count me equal? . . . Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:5a, 9).
*Excerpt adapted from Fearless Living in Troubled Times by Michael Youssef © 2017. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.