Monday, June 7, 2010
The CD player in my car broke awhile back, and I haven’t joined the iPod world yet, so I’ve been stuck with the limited selection on the radio. Sometimes it bothers me (I actually texted a few people this morning looking for an extra iPod) but I’ve learned to live with since it’s not a priority in the budget. Anyway, today as I was on my way home from work, I was struck by something that was said on the radio following a worship song. I wasn’t paying close attention (was kinda zoned out), but when the unknown worship song ended, the DJ began to encourage the listeners about magnifying the Lord. To be honest, I still wasn’t paying close attention at that point. But when he briefly camped out there, he caught my attention. He said it’s important to magnify the Lord – not our problems – just the Lord. Light bulb moment. THAT statement really struck me. Magnify problems? Attention caught. And for the rest of my drive home, I really pondered on what was said and meditated on what I know of the word ‘magnify.’
So, what does magnify really mean? We hear it all the time in the Christian community but in the context of worshipping and praising. Not problems. I hit up Webster’s when I got home and read that it’s to (1) extol, laud, to cause to be held in greater esteem; (2) intensify, exaggerate; and (3) to enlarge in fact or in appearance. Now that the definitions were in front of me, and I realized that my wheels were turning for a reason, I had to stop and examine my heart. What and/or who is being magnified in my life? What’s being held in greater esteem? Is it problems? Is it worries? Is it even good things (like family, friends, ministry, school, etc.)? What’s being intensified? And, is God truly being magnified or am I allowing other things to be enlarged in fact or appearance? Wow, a little humbling. Okay, a lot. Why? Because anything other than Jesus being magnified means there’s idolatry going on. Strong word, yes, but according to the Bible, idolatry is in the same class as witchcraft, sexual immorality and fits of rage (Galatians 5:19-21). Time to dig deeper…
1 John ends with instructions to the believers to keep themselves from idols (1 John 5:21) and Paul told the Corinthians they were to flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). The Bible doesn’t specifically say to flee from everything. Sometimes we’re commanded to fight, other times we're told to just armor up and stand firm. It’s interesting, though, that idolatry (along with sexual immorality and the love of money) is something we’re told to flee. Flee, meaning don’t hang out there – run away from it and be out. When the Bible says to flee anything, that should be a flashing spiritual neon light. But it’s not always so obvious when we’re out of the habit of magnifying Jesus.
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he said to put to death anything of the earthly nature, including idolatry (Colossians 3:5). Easier said than done? Well, it’s definitely hard to do when we’re walking in the flesh. But when we’re truly magnifying the Lord (which is done when walking in the Spirit) and causing Him to be held in the greatest esteem in our lives, we’re able to do what the world can’t do because the Lord has His rightful place in our lives. The beginning of Colossians 3 includes the instructions to the people to set their minds and hearts on things above, where Christ lives. They put off the old man and put on the new spiritual nature. That’s what enabled them to put idolatry to death. But those instructions weren’t just for the believers in Colosse back in the day. That applies to us in 2010, as well.
It's easy to get caught up with the cares of this life (whether bad or good) and allow those things to be magnified and intensified instead of the Lord Himself. God is faithful to remind us of who He is (our awesome, loving God and the head over every power and authority) and where He belongs (absolute priority in our lives, and on the throne of our hearts). I’m grateful for a timely reminder in my life this evening. I pray that I can be a woman who truly magnifies the Lord at all times and holds Him in the greatest esteem. He is always worthy to be praised.
I thank God that I didn’t have an iPod today after all. I might have been listening to someone else magnify the Lord instead of doing it myself...
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.” - Psalm 34:3