And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The sin of fantasy

Idolatry comes in many forms. We often talk of making an idol of things, and people. But one concept I am exploring is the idea of personal fantasy as a form of idolatry. These fantasies all revolve around the self and are often quite secret. It may be a fantasy about sex, for isn’t that what the pornography industry is all about self fulfillment of the physical through mental stimulation? It could be the middle aged man in midlife crisis looking back to the misinterpreted days of high school. There is the fantasy of revenge, often planning what one would say or do if given the chance. Taken further, what about all those who are wrapped up in the past? Playing the would have ,could have, and should have game keeps them living in the past and not in the present. How can this possibly give glory to God?

Often it seems what holds us back from living out the fantasy are the repercussions of getting caught. I find this dangerous. Jesus said that if we look on a woman to lust it is adultery, to hate our brother is murder. (Matthew 6) We will give an account for every idle word, and I believe it also implies every thought. For out of the heart flows wickedness. (Matthew 15)

What is God’s view of fantasy idolatry, surly it is that we put this old man off and put on the new. We are to follow Romans 12 and be transformed by the renewing of our mind. To press on as Paul writes in Philippians.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Let us persevere.

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