Avoiding Impotence

Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:8

Many scientists would say they have to see something before believing it. In this modern age, many of us live by that same idea. We doubt what we haven’t seen. What’s right in front of our eyes seems most real.

Ancient peoples were much the same. In Ps. 115 the writer laments about the foolishness of idol worship. He wonders, how can anyone put their trust in objects made by human hands? The answer seems to be, because they can see their idols. That makes them seem more real than the one true God, whom they cannot see.

Still, seeming to be real and being real are two very different things. The psalmist points out idols have ears, but don’t hear. They have hands but don’t feel, and mouths but cannot speak. They have no wisdom to share, no power to provide, nor help to offer. As gods, they are impotent. So are those who put their trust in idols.

I don’t want to be impotent. I don’t want to pray to deaf gods, who are no more responsive to me than blocks of stone. I want to put my trust in the Lord. He has redeemed my life. He hears my prayers, and knows my needs. He is my help and shield. He fills me with real hope and gives my life meaning and purpose.

To me, what’s real is what works. Nothing in my life has ever done for me what God has done. Nothing in my life has transformed me like God’s love and grace. Nothing empowers me like God’s guarding, guiding and sustaining hand. So I am putting my trust in the Lord.

After all, what can be more real than God, who made all of creation, and who formed me in my mother’s womb? What can be more real than God, who made himself a man, so that we could see him, know him, trust and follow him? What can be more real than God, who transforms us to live lives of faith, love and victory!

Avoid impotence, put your trust in what’s real: put your trust in God!


God of all, even though I can’t see you, your footprint is all over my life, and your handiwork is all around me. Lord, I believe. Help my moments of unbelief. Keep my faith steadfast and strong, so I might be empowered to serve you all the days of my life! Amen

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