Are You An Idolator?

Idolatry.  When we hear the word we think of statues and figures made of wood, brass or gold.  They are strange little things and we wonder how anyone could ever worship them as their god.  But many did, including God’s people the Jews.  That’s why He made it clear this was forbidden:  Exodus 20:2–6  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.   “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”  God clearly warned the people, but they turned to idols anyway.

Yet time after time they turned from the Lord their God and worshipped the idols of the people around them (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5; Jeremiah 32:35; 2 Kings 23:10).  After many warnings from the prophets God sent, eventually they went into captivity because of their idolatry.  God reminded them time and again that He alone is God.  Their disobedience resulted in terrible consequences.  Their sin separated them from God and His protection.  They had been warned but they neglected the warnings.

Isaiah was one of many prophets God used to remind the people that God, not the gods, was the creator of the world and everyone in it (Isaiah 40:1-24).  He concludes his message by asking which of the idol gods compares to YHWH God?  Who is equal to Him (Isaiah 40:25)?  The answer seems quite obvious to us: idols cannot be compared to God Almighty in any way.  Who today would place an idol over the living God?  What was wrong with those people?

But don’t be so fast to condemn them and excuse ourselves.  Idolatry, by definition, is when someone or something becomes number one in our life, surpassing God Himself.  What are some of the “idols” we put before God today?

Money and ‘things’ are not bad in themselves, but when they are more important than God, they are an idol.  It is our attitude to them that is sinful (1 Timothy 6:10), not the amount we have.  A poor person can make money an idol if he thinks of it more than God and sees it as the solution to him problems.  Do you put your faith in the future in your savings or in God?  When you have financial problems, does that interfere with your truth and worship?  Does it take away your peace?

          Relationships are another thing that are OK in themselves, but if a mate, children, or what others think of us is more important to our happiness than God we are making them an idol.  Do you turn to God or to others when you have needs?  Do you spend more time thinking about Jesus or your family and friends?  Do you find security in God or in those closest to you?

Career and status can easily become an idol, something we turn to for comfort and security, for satisfaction and accomplishment.  Do you serve your career, or does your career serve you?  Where does work fit in your list of priorities?  How much fulfillment do you find in your status compared to your relationship with God?

Sex was created by God to show love and commitment in marriage.  It is a wedding gift from God not to be opened until the wedding night.  Yet today sex has often become an end in itself instead of a means to an end.  Does preoccupation with sex and love come before your preoccupation with God?

Technology and entertainment are important parts of our lives today, both social and work-related.  What would happen to your well-being if you lost your phone, if your computer stopped working or if you couldn’t access your entertainment sites online?

Our bodies, ourselves, can be idols as well if we are preoccupied with how we look, what kind of shape we are in, how we dress, etc.  How important is your appearance to you?  How much time and money do you spend on it compared to the time and money you spend on God?

Remember, none of these things are wrong in and of themselves. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a hobby or working out. There is nothing wrong with earning money or purchasing trinkets. There is nothing wrong with sitting in first class rather than coach. Or owning an expensive purse. But when these things come first in our lives, we’ve created an idol.  God is a jealous God.  He wants nothing to come before Him in our lives.  He deserves first place in our lives.  Nothing else satisfies.  There is no substitute.  There is only room for one God in our life and it must be the Lord God of the Bible.  (July 15, 2024  Doylestown, PA)

1 John 5:21  Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Which of the idols mentioned do you most struggle with?

How are they trying to meet needs that only God should be meeting?

What can you do to start every day making sure there are no idols in your life, that God alone is in first place?

INDIA UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST: I always love seeing the churches in India.  They are small, plain, simple buildings that wouldn’t attract many, if any, in America.  But in India they are often the finest building in the village and the people love their building and what it stands for.  Most evenings the local Christians will gather when work is done to talk, pray, read the Bible and sing.  Their faith is their hope and comfort in a dangerous, deadly world.   When Jesus is all you have you discover that Jesus is all you need.  Pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ with whom you’ll be spending eternity.


Christian Training Organization

(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

Copyright © 2023

Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2024