The Bible over and over again warns of worshiping other idols. Back in Biblical times, many people and other nations worshiped other Gods and made idols to them of gold to which they sacrificed to, prayed to and trusted on for their needs. God warns about this and having idols take the place of him.
And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. -Exodus 20: 1-5
The enemy however is clever. He has created idols in our lives, not necessarily made of gold or something sitting on an altar that we sacrifice animals too, not something that we bow down and worship (although he still does that also as evidenced by many other religions around the world). Instead, for Christians he tries to trip us up by giving us idols that are subtle idols, things we may not consider to be an idol, but it does indeed take the place of God in our lives and that is part of the definition of an idol in God’s word.
Recently at our church, we are reading through the book, The Story, as a congregation and really diving into God’s word. Recently they talked about idols and gave us a list of thoughts to look at where our idols are in our lives. It’s quite eye opening to discover things that if you’re honest about, could be considered our idols. The point is not to live lives where we give up everything in our lives and live a life of poverty without possessions for God wants us to live abundant and fulfilling lives, but we need to be sure that we keep a perspective on God and that everything is a gift from God. So let’s take a brief look at the list of questions that will help identify where the idols are in your life.
- What are you most disappointed with right now? When I’m disappointed in something, my first reaction is often to try and fix it so I’m not disappointed. Rarely works, in fact, I most likely make things worse and become even more disappointed, because I’m not following God’s will.
- What do you sacrifice your time and money for? Where we spend our time and money is a good indication of what is really important to us. Are we sure God wants us to be spending our time and money in that way? Or does he have other plans for us?
- What do you worry about? What scares you? Worry is one of the enemy’s major weapons against us. When we are worried and scared, our mind is not filled with the good things God has done for us. We waste time and energy on things outside our control instead of focusing on God’s will for us. Don’t let the enemy win this battle.
- Where do you go when you get hurt? Do you turn to God or do you turn to your idol? Do you come to God for healing or do you turn to the bottle, sex or some other addiction that “comforts” you?
- What makes you mad? Does your anger get the best of you? Does it control you, do you say things you wish you could take back? Don’t let your anger control you, bring you anger before God and let him bring you peace.
- What brings you the most joy? When you let your emotions, whether anger or joy, control you, you will find that it often points to your idol?
- Whose applause do you long for? Do you long for approval from a absent parent? Or a distant spouse? How about your boss, do you strive for praise from the work you do? Trying to get that praise often leads you to focus so much on gaining it that it becomes your idol
Idols don’t always come in the form of an image or some physical object. They can be anything that get’s in the way of our relationship with God. Don’t let anything get in the way of your relationship with the one worthy of our worship.