Satan has a trap. He wants us to think the word “idol” doesn’t apply to us. However, because sin affects everyone, so does idolatry. As Pastor Evans mentioned, “idolatry is the most disgusting sin because all other sins come from it.” Idolatry is defined as any person, place, thing, or thought that we look to as our source. It is anything in God’s kingdom that competes with God himself.
Chapter 14 of Ezekiel explicitly states God’s stance on idolatry:
Therefore speak to them and tell them, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols.’”
Even though Christians may recognize that idols are sinful, all humans have a propensity toward idolatry. The reason why we look to idols is that they make us feel like we are in control of our lives. Despite that feeling, it is actually the idol that has control over us. Idols are so deceptive that they will simultaneously block the flow of God’s grace and attract demons to situations in our lives.
We can begin to address our own issues with idolatry when we remember a few key points:
- God is transcendent: He is outside of time and space and distinct from all of creation. When we operate outside of His timing, we are competing with Him.
- When God says, “I am that I am,” He means that He is not subject to our definition of who He is. Furthermore, He does not accept our excuses for participation in idol worship.
- Additionally, “I am that I am” means God is self-sufficient. He does not need our help to do anything.
Once we acknowledge that idolatry is intimacy with a false image, we can open our hearts to intimacy with the true, living God.
- Scripture makes it clear that God wants absolute exclusivity as the ruler in our lives. Make a list of the specific area(s) that you have not given Him total reign over you.
- When we want to pick and choose the areas of life that we want God to enter, we are using a cafeteria approach to our relationship with Him. Say a prayer reverencing God’s authority in your life, and give Him total and complete dominion over the things that you listed above.
Let’s Get Personal
Another factor in understanding idolatry is that who or what we worship, we become. When we worship God, we reflect His image and likeness. When we worship other things or people, we are not honoring God, advancing His kingdom, or giving Him glory. We can’t expect answers to our prayers if we are not positioned under His authority properly.
- Make a list of three things you can do to eliminate the current idols in your life.
- Ask a friend or family member to pray with you daily and hold you accountable for dealing with your specific idols.
Take the Next Step
Meditate this week on the following verses: Psalm 135:18 and James 4:3.
Renew Your Mind
“Therefore say to the people of Israel, This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!”