These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame. Who but a fool would
make his own god—an idol that cannot help him one bit? All who worship
idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame. Isaiah 44:9-11
Ouch, that’s a little harsh. I guess it’s a good thing we Christians these days don’t make idols like back then. Shew! This doesn’t apply to us at all, right? Wrong. Okay fine, so what is an idol anyways? It’s not just a gold calf someone made. An idol is anything you place above the Lord in your life and heart. Whether it is something physical or an idea it is an idol, and it takes the place of an Almighty God.
Let’s take a look at why we are prone to such a thing. As humans, God created us for His glory and gave us hearts that were designed to worship Him and Him alone. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve our hearts became warped. We began worshipping ourselves and our sin rather than our Creator. We turned away from God and ran to our own false gods. For those of us that He redeemed through the blood of Christ, we now have the gift of a new heart that is bent towards God rather than away like our original state. Because we are constantly at war with our flesh and sin, this is a ongoing battle. Our fleshly desires try to shift us toward other “gods” throughout our walk with the only God. It is something we need to be aware of and ready to fight against. Romans 6:12 says “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” We should be killing sin in our lives, not sitting on our butts saying “Let go and let God.” He is the one that sanctifies us but we are to be pursuing His holiness daily. Philippians 2:12 tells us to “work out our sanctification with fear and trembling.” That sounds pretty serious to me. So, why does God care if we place other things before Him?
He is a jealous God. In Exodus, God gave Moses the 10 commandments. It’s no coincidence that the first one on the list was “You shall have no other gods before Me”(Exodus 20:3.) He created us and if you are in Christ chose you before the foundation of the Earth (Ephesians 1:4.) He set us apart and even knows the tiniest details about us. He loves us. Also, because He is Creator of the Universe He ALONE deserves all the glory! When we are pouring ourselves into the false gods of our lives, it is stealing praise and worship that solely belongs to Him. Some references of His divine jealousy are Exodus 34:14 and Nahum 1:2. God doesn’t take this lightly, and neither should we.
So what are some examples of idols? They can be physical things, people, places, or even the idea of something. For a lot of people money or material things become an idol. I personally struggle with wanting to have the new clothes all the time or always wanting to buy things. Women are especially prone to making good desires into idols. Things such as marriage or having a family are great desires but if they are consuming your life-been there-more than likely they have taken the rightful spot of the Lord. Relationships are a big one all of us must be careful of. If you are putting someone above God, not only will you be let down but you are not loving that person by holding them to a standard they just can’t meet. We are sinners and we will let our fellow believers down no matter what. Even spiritual things can take the spot of God in our hearts. Things like having the correct theology or being the “perfect Christian” which by the way, doesn’t exsist. Don’t believe me? Read Romans 3. 😉
If we’re honest with ourselves, we can probably think of a few things that have the potential of becoming our idols. I know I can. A good place to start would be checking our motives in every decision. Are we doing things to bring God glory or just to satisfy ourselves? The fact is, we will fall but we need to keep our eyes open and be ready to fight with the strength of God’s grace of course. He has given us everything we need to fight sin. If we are in Christ Jesus then it doesn’t have control over us anymore (Romans 6:6-14.) He made us free! How amazing is that! And the truth is none of these things we want to worship will bring us the joy the world promises. But trusting in the Lord, that will bring joy everlasting.
I will bless the Lord at all
times; his praise shall continually be in my
soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with
me, and let us exalt his name together!
sought the Lord, and he answered
me and delivered me from all my
fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and
saved him out of all his troubles. The
angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh,
taste and see that the Lord is
good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in
fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack
no good thing. Come, O children, listen to me; I
will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and
your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek
peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are toward the
righteous and his ears toward their
cry. The face of the Lord is against those
who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from
the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers
them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the
brokenhearted and saves the crushed in
spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of
them all. He
keeps all his bones; not one of them is
broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and
those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his
servants; none of those who take refuge in him
will be condemned. Psalm 34