When I was a child and heard the stories in church about worshiping idols, I imagined the traditional carved statues and mini tikis, like on the Brady Bunch. These were things I never saw much of in real life, so imagined I did not have an issue with this in my life. Boy, what I wrong! Now, I go through my day and see nothing but Idols. They are not the carved kind, but the craved kind. Pretty much anything in our lives can be an idol and take the place that God rightfully deserves. We don’t need to do much more than 10 seconds of contemplation to determine what those things might be. What are you most passionate about and spend most of your time and money and energy pursuing? There you have your answer. It can be literally anything…our homes, cars, music, toys, sports, food, drink, body, image, people, reputation, ideals, kids, animals, or the ground we stand on…literally anything you can imagine can be an idol. What has have been idols you have struggled with giving up?
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. Exodus 20:3-4
This past day, I had the chance to indulge at a dinner with a variety of foods from a variety of different countries. There were even a couple things there I have had before, that I was excited for, like ceviche. I waited for most to go through, then sampled a little of everything and shared with my son, and then went back for another round of what I missed and tried a little more of my favorites. I didn’t get stuffed, but did enjoy trying new things. I wouldn’t say I’m gluttonous but do enjoy good food from time to time. I also realize I can easily eat more than I need as well and do see a great value in regular fasting, even though I don’t practice it as often as feeding my appetite. Yesterday, I worked through lunch and by the time 2:00 rolled around, I realized I had not had lunch, and just had a small bar to get me through the day. It wasn’t fasting, but it did make me stop and think about how often I do succumb to my appetite patterns and how I really don’t need to. It is so easy in our culture to give in to our lust for the things we consume. Where does food or drink place on your daily priority list?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4
So, in a land where we have shows that idolize talented musicians and athletes, which basically try to compel us to idolize fame and celebrity, how do we put these things in proper perspective? When we have God ruling in our hearts, it does put everything else in its proper place. When we have a life that honors and worships the true God, the other gods don’t stand a chance. We still eat, we may still marry and have kids, we still can watch tv from time to time, but these things are not ruling our lives when we have the God of the Universe to guide and direct our lives. The Love of Christ is enough to give us love for others without loving other things or people more than Him. May your one desire be to serve Him and in doing so, may your life bless others and help them tear down these idols that imprison us and keep us from truly living.
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. Jonah 2:8
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
Yours in Christ,