If you thought this post was about the popular TV show, then you may be disappointed. I have come face-to-face with the subject of idols because the Lord showed me that I have them in my life. These people or things that I choose to prioritize ahead of Him have simply got to go. If you can’t relate, then you might want to move on from this post.
I’ll begin with this: When President Trump was running for re-election, not only he, but his campaign became an idol for some. Geez, after he lost, his followers even made a golden statue of him. Did you happen to see it? If you can for a moment, forget the Dominion voting machine debacle or the fraudulent mail-in ballots scenario. Of course, these certainly could’ve assured his opponent’s victory, but I mean, really? A golden statue? Scary times…
Here are 7 idols, things that take the place of God; they could easily be named stand-ins, substitutes that take priority over God:
- Money…This is a big one. It’s all about the mighty dollar, you may’ve heard someone say. It is for some, isn’t it? But what about you? When was the last time you freely gave money to someone? The key word here is freely. Money isn’t bad. It’s the love of it that’s the root of all kinds of evil; it’s when we love it more than we love God. It is the craving of it that is so dangerous. Think lottery. (I Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils.)
- Food…Food? How could food be an idol? You’ve probably heard the word, gluttony. Gluttony is the idol really, not the food. Gluttony is the disproportionate love of the good gift of food. People who are gluttonous probably have trouble fasting. They can’t imagine giving up food for one day in order for a prayer to be answered. Food has become the focus. (Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19)
- Security…We have 2-3 locks on all of our doors. We have one or more guns. We have passwords and codes to all of our online accounts and email addresses. These things are not bad things. It’s when we rely on our own security apart from God that we get into trouble. Yes, the stock market will likely crash at some point. Our homes may not be worth what they once were. Our relationships fail. Our unforeseen medical expenses pile up. We might lose our job. But when did God lose His sovereignty? Isn’t he in control of all these chaotic experiences? (The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, for He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song, I praise Him. Psalm 28:7)
- Approval…Of whom? Other people. Parents, kids, friends, family, co-workers, anybody who’ll help me feel better about myself. To place the desire to be appreciated, liked, and rewarded above the approval of God is how we develop emotional issues, addictions and the like. We lie, manipulate, oh, our lives becomes a complete mess. (The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25)
- Success…We all want to be successful in whatever we do, don’t we? When we meet someone, one of the first questions we ask is, What do you do? We also recite all of our accomplishments hoping to glean their respect. But success in God’s eyes is obedience to His word and His leading and not in what we do for a living. It’s easy to let our identity be attached to our vocational goals and promotions. We need to remember what our eternal purpose is. Our end goal. (Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal. John 6:27)
- Intellect…We think we’re so smart, don’t we? We have to intellectually and scientifically be able to prove this and that in order to believe in something we can’t see. I say there’s danger in that when it comes to our Creator. Whenever we seek to know the truth in these ways apart from our personal relationship to Jesus, pride and an elevated sense of self-confidence rise up to block our personal relationship to Jesus. This is what God has to say about it. (Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish. Isaiah 29:14)
- Comfort…It’s hard to put others above ourselves, especially when it comes to speaking about the love of Jesus to the unsaved. It’s more comfortable to grab those groceries and head to the car without putting ourselves out there, to talk to the cashier about the Lord. I’d rather go to the beach and lounge in the sun rather than to volunteer at church or at the local food bank. To put away this idol of comfort, we need to do something that’s not comfortable. (But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22; For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. II Timothy 1:7)
Finally, the plans the Lord has for us as His followers are plans not to harm us but to give us a future and a hope. These idols form a barrier that separates us from receiving God’s best. Whether you have but one, some, or all 7, my challenge for you and for me is to smash them to smithereens as soon as possible so we can begin enjoying the best God has for us.