Idol:An image used as an object of worship.A false god. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively. Something visible but without substance.
The other night I was at a family’s house that I am a close friend with. They have a teenage daughter who, like them, loves the Lord and desires to grow nearer to Him and bring Him glory. That being said she is a teenager learning her limits and her opinions of the world at large. While I was there the father and the daughter had a disagreement about using her cell phone. After the young lady had exited the room the couple asked my opinion on the matter and allowed me to process with them about their daughter. As we talked her father just kept saying, “I would hate to have her cell phone turn into an idol! I don’t want her to have idols above the Lord. I want nothing to stand in the way of all He desires for her.”
In the moment I didn’t get the point. I was more concerned about her attitude or finding a solution to the problem instead of seeing the father’s heart. His heart was breaking that his daughter might put anything above her devotion to the Lord. Isn’t that the heavenly Fathers heart for us! Don’t we often try to fix our problems with food, or spending, or time management, or jealousy by treating the symptoms’ instead of owning up to the fact that we have made an idol of that very thing? We have put it above the Lord.
If you where to examine your life where do you see idols? I can say with confidence that I have many idols and similar to that young girl my phone is one of them. But there is no way I can cancel my cell phone service and only use smoke signals (ok I probably could it just wouldn’t be very wise of me) My aim in this is not to have you get rid of your material possessions, unless the Lord is calling you to, or have you purpose to mend any relationship where there is idol or sin, again unless the Lord is calling you to. What my goal in pointing all this out is point you toward the cross.
If pride is the root of all evil then lets reflect on how that affects idolatry. Well for starters I think many times it starts with entitlement. We think we have some sort of right to whatever it is we are making an idol in our lives. We have a right to our job, we earned it and we work hard. We have a right to our loved ones. A right to our material possessions. Our time. The list goes on and on.
HEY EVERYONE WE DESERVE THE PIT OF HELL. WE DESERVE DEATH.
I don’t even want to elaborate on that because I am so broken by the fact that I am redeemed by grace and I certainly don’t deserve my idols.
In church the other night we discussed how to get rid of our self-entitlement. Someone with wise words said that the only way to change our perspective it to daily remember the sacrifice that was made for us and realize how undeserving we are of it. Just to focus on the cross, repent of our sin and repeat. We need nothing more than the truth of the gospel to sustain us.
So here is my personal application: for the millionth time in my walk with God I need to kneel before the cross and repent of my sins. I need to fix my gaze steadily on Jesus and seek His heart above my own. I cast out my idols. Put on the love of Christ and press forward.
1 John 5:20-21 And we know that the Son of God has to come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, guard yourselves from idols.