The Runt of Bakersville

For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” (Psalm 18:29)

A silence fell over the stands of Stewart Stadium as Kyle Littleton recovered the fumbled football. Littleton, a runt of a boy, was the last player the Bakersville Bearcat fans wanted to have the ball. Littleton, or “Runt” as his teammates called him, was almost five feet tall and weighed all of one hundred pounds. Against the Argyle Gators, the best defense in the state, and with seconds on the clock, Bakersville’s hope of a state championship title waned.

green grass across beige red open sports stadium during daytime

Littleton bowed his head and then struck out across the fifty-yard line. He ran past a defender. A few Bakersville fans cheered. Littleton zigzagged like a rabbit around his opponents with lightning speed. A unified chant of “Run, Runt, run!” surfaced from the sidelines. Littleton juked and spun his way into the red zone. The clock was out and Bakersville leaned forward, watching the boy they called Runt blaze down field.

Gators barricaded the goal line, but the Runt of Bakersville ran hard towards them. Littleton slanted left, thinning the defenders, and leaped over an Argyle Gator into the end zone. The crowd erupted. No one, not even Littleton, could believe what he had done.

After the game, Coach Hicks said, “Littleton, you scared me at first when you bowed your head. I thought you were giving up.”

“Coach, I wasn’t giving up. I prayed for strength. I might be small, but I serve a big God.”

Identifying Idols

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Corinthians 10:14

Idolatry sounds archaic. Images of ancient carved statues surface in our minds. But idols are far more than stone. The Bible speaks with clarity about idolatry. God himself ranked this sin at the top of the Ten Commandments. The New Testament writers say we should flee from it and we should guard ourselves from idols. But what is idolatry? How would modern man identify an idol?

Idols hide in the corridors of our heart. They manifest themselves through our thoughts and actions. The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Did you catch this list of sins, “which amounts to idolatry?”

In the past, the outworking of an idolatrous heart presented itself in handmade deities. Worshippers devoted their lives to a product of their own making. We may not hold a graven idol in our hands, but if we give our preeminent devotion to anything other than God, it is idolatry. Our relationships, careers, and even ministries can become an idol.

If we are not diligent to examine our inner life, our hearts will erect an altar of offense to God. We need to see the truth of John Calvin’s statement that the “human heart is a factory of idols.” We must allow the Spirit to walk through the hallways of our heart. Giving Him access to enter any door that He knocks on.

If you refuse to heed the rapping of the Spirit, you are guilty of idolatry. Christ should possess preeminence in every aspect of our lives. We have all ignored the Spirit, but God is gracious to uproot idols and continue His work in us. Believers have a guarantee of forgiveness if we confess our sins (see 1 John 1:9). The knock at the door of your heart will only grow louder. For God is jealous and will not share His glory with another. Will you get that knock at the door?