If we are frank with ourselves, “idolatry” is a subject that many modern Christians see as old-fashioned and obsolete. Today, many of us automatically picture a golden statue of a bull or a calf when we hear the word “idol”.
We tend to overlook passages that contain references to idolatry since we see it as something with which only faithfuls of the Old Testament struggled with.
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In Paul’s writings to the New Testament churches, he addresses the issue of idolatry:
“Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”Romans 1:22-25, ESV
Reading through the book Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey, a section caught my eye and convicted me at my core – which made me think that some of my fellow believers may need to hear the message as well. It’s a topic which we, as 21st century Christians, sometimes tend to gloss over.
The reason many of us aren’t acknowledging the idols in our lives is primarily due to the fact that we have an incorrect definition and image of what idolatry truly is.
Unbelief in a promise of God can lead us to put our trust, hope, or even our value in something other than Him to fill that void. The sobering fact is that, we actually believe the lie that whatever our sinful selves lust after is better than Christ. Pearcey explains this well:
“For example, why do we lie? Because we fear the disapproval of people more than we want the approval of God. Or because we value our reputation more than we value our relationship with God. Or we are trying to manipulate someone into giving us something we think we need more than we need God. The more visible sin (lying) is driven by an invisible turn of our hearts toward something other than God as the ultimate source of security and happiness.”
That being said, you and I need to know that today our idols can take different forms. Although we see them in general as shameful, evil passions, it is essential to know that idols can also be “good” things that we’ve made “ultimate” things.
A few examples which we often put our value and confidence in may include our children, spouse, physical attractiveness, money, job, or even our friendships. We may look to money or comforts to fill a space which they cannot fill.
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All of these things are not inherently evil, but they become a problem when we begin to believe that they satisfy us more than God.
As a believer, your objective is to better understand God and make him known. Today, if you have made even the smallest gain in those areas, then you have fulfilled your purpose.
There is nothing more important than knowing, loving, and seeking to glorify your Creator.
Your sole goal is to glorify God and to be obedient to Him; so if you’ve done that … then you can rest in the fact that you’ve accomplished your purpose for the day.
Often times, obedience is for our own good. Whatever the sin is, it might seem small at the moment, but we will always end up getting hurt. Most people want to be independent – the rulers over our own lives. I get that you might be hesitant to uproot your idols, because honestly sin can often appear comfortable.
However, your mind will begin to change when you learn about the quality and character of God and understand how fully and deeply loved you are. You will slowly start choosing obedience out of mutual, reciprocal love.
When you love someone, you will do anything to please them and never hope to hurt them. The same goes for our relationship with God, and one issue that genuinely upsets Him is the fact that we constantly choose other “lovers” (idols) over Him.
I encourage believers, myself included, to pray and ask God to reveal the idols which may have crept into our lives – even the innately good things which we’ve elevated to a higher place than they ought to hold. Let’s uproot the lies we may believe at our core and make certain that we are never worshipping created things over our Creator.
Source: The Christian Post