People dancing around a golden calf.
People bowing down to a statue of Buddha.
People worshipping the rising of the sun on top of a high mountain.
But often times what I forget is that an idol isn’t just a statue or figure of some sort, it can be absolutely anything.
Idolatry takes many shapes and forms and not all of them are even physical.
For the Israelites it was a golden calf, for Hindus around the world it could be a statue or an animal, but for you it could be something else.
What is an idol exactly? I think Mark Driscoll says it best in his sermon on idolatry:
“An idol is what keeps you up at night and gets you up in the morning. It’s anything that replaces Jesus at the center of your life. It’s what you turn to instead of God to get what you want.”
What is it that you do first thing when you wake up in the morning?
What is it that you turn to when you are in need?
What keeps you up at night wondering or worrying?
What do you talk about, think about, and dream about most of your day?
What would you fill in the blank when you say “All I need is _____ and I’ll be happy”.
Most likely, that’s your idol.
Your idol can be the car that you drive, the job that you have, the home you live in, your image or your body, a relationship, the phone that you hold in your hand, the computer or TV screen you look at, or any sin no matter how big or small that draws you away from God.
It’s anything other than God that takes up all of your energy and time.
On their own none of these things are wrong (other than sin) but they become idols when they take priority over God.
“The problem is when these good things are elevated to gods who rule over us. Instead of these things being the gift from God that they were intended to be, our sinful hearts twist them into false gods to which we give our lives, time, money, and life.”-Mark Driscoll
If you are too busy to pray because you are catching up on reruns of “Friends” for the hundredth time then TV is your god.
If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you open is not your Bible but your twitter, facebook, or instagram account then social media is your god.
If instead of attending your church’s bible study every Wednesday night you choose to work over time to get more money for that big house you want to buy than riches is your god.
If all you think about pleasing one person so much that they overpower anything anyone else says or does in your life than that person is your god.
So today… my question to you is this: who is #1 in your life?
Is it a false idol or is it God?
Remember that it’s not a sin to want something and to strive to get it… but it is a sin if you want it more than God.
There is no room for anyone or anything to be your highest priority in life other than God.
What is sad about these idol is that they give us the illusion that they can satisfy us and that they can save us.
That somehow when we make more money, have a higher position, get that amazing body, and get approval and applause from all the people around us that we will be happier.
And maybe we will be… for one day.
But then that happiness will fade because only God is the source of true joy and anything but Him will always leave us empty in the end and searching for more.
I love the story of Abraham because he was the perfect candidate for idolatry.
He had prayed, waited, and been promised the son that would multiply his generation for decades to come.
I’m sure that’s the dream he held in his heart and the thoughts that captivated his mind from the moment God revealed the promise of fathering a son to him.
Yet when God finally gives him the son He had longed for for so many years he then asked him to sacrifice him.
The one person that mattered most.
Not because He was cruel but because He wanted to see…
When Abraham had it all, would God still be #1?
And Abraham proved to be faithful to God.
He laid Isaac down on that altar and showed His Almighty Father that He would always be most important to him.
Today… who or what is your Isaac?
Whether you already have whatever it is that you’ve always been wishing and praying for or if he has yet to come.
Would you be willing to lay him down on altar and give him up to God or would you hold on to it tight?
Take some and think about what constantly fills your mind, how you spend your time, and where you get the most satisfaction from life.
If it’s not related to God then re-think your priorities and remember that there is nothing so important in this world that should get in between you and God.
Isaac wasn’t as important to Abraham as God was and neither should anything in your life.
Remember what Matthew says in his book “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”(Matthew 6:33)
Whatever you need, whatever you desire, whatever you are praying for if it’s God’s Will for you He will bring it to pass whether it’s the promotion, an addition to your family, or a dream turning into reality… but only when you put Him above them all.
God has no problem answering your prayers and blessing you just as long as He remains #1.
Be like Abraham… hope for your Isaac, pray for you Isaac, love your Isaac, but never put God below your Isaac.
Be blessed and walk faithfully with God! Anna… ♥
“Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.”- Jonah 2:8