Forsaking the old life
“Who told you from the beginning that this would happen? Who predicted this, making you admit that he was right? No one said a word! I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look! Help is on the way!’ I will send Jerusalem a messenger with good news. Not one of your idols told you this. Not one gave any answer when I asked. See, they are all foolish, worthless things. All your idols are as empty as the wind. Isaiah 41:26-29 NLT
Despite our rebellion to God by insisting on our own way of worship by serving idols, He provided us the opportunity to realize our need of Him. God loves us and made it possible for us to experience His salvation. This is how Augustine of Hippo discovered the truth by returning to God and forsaking the sin of idolatry: “Late have I loved you, Beauty so old and so new; late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.” Just like Augustine, we too can discover by God’s working in us through the Holy Spirit God’s whole purpose for our lives. His goal is to establish within us His glory as our highest joy and deepest source. From the text, Isaiah told the Israelites that “Help is on the way!’ I will send Jerusalem a messenger with good news.” This proclamation of good news is what saved us from sin. Let us not go back to that old sinful life by rebelling against God and His will for our lives. The same admonition was given by Paul to the believers in Galatia: “Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God...why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?” (Galatians 4:8-9).