So ladies, we may be worshipping idols without even realizing it!! If you feel like there’s something in the way of keeping you from being on fire for Christ, this post is for you!
“You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” ~Exodus 20:3-5
What is an idol? An idol is anything man creates in the likeness of God that “takes the place” of God and gives them joy, strength, peace, and fulfillment.
Idolatry is when someone worships an idol because they draw more strength and joy from it than God.
In this context “worship” means regarding an idol as though it were God, focusing more time and energy on it than we do with God. Idols are extremely sinful. They are worldly things our flesh lust after (money and popularity, for example). These appetites are not from God, therefore they are an abomination to Him (1 John 2:15-16). Our God is jealous for us. He dislikes anything we love more than Him.
Many idols are apparent (golden statues of false Gods that the Bible talks about, celebrities, ourselves…), but there are what I like to call ‘sneaky idols’ that we may worship without even knowing it. Some of these idols may be seemingly “harmless,” but harmful to our faith:
- Mental images
- the idea of marrying our soulmate
- the vision of the person we desire to become
Yes, our ideal self. We can create a mental image of who and what we want to become in our heads. This ‘person’ may be very close to perfection. We may even mentally exalt this person as though she were Godlike. We strive day after day to be like this person, speak like her, and even dress like her so much that she starts to feel real to us. And before we know it, we are talking to that person more than we talk to God! We want to be like this person more than we want to be like Christ. Ladies, this is a no-no! Our ideal self can serve as an idol if we’re not careful.
- Our smartphones
- Social media (being too invested in other people’s lives, showing off how ‘fancy’ or impressive our life is)
- Our jobs or career (may be a faith blog, a book we’ve written, a business we started)
- Our husband (we should love God more than we love our spouse)
- Being accepted by others/popularity
- Vision boards–we can serve our dreams and aspirations more than we serve God! No matter what those dreams may be.
- Our Godly lifestyle/ our personal spiritual growth and development (yes, we can find more joy and fulfillment in even THIS than in God because we become prideful in our growth)
- Reading the Bible–God loves our excitement for His word, but do you spend more time with it than you do with Him? Do you read the Bible as though it were your only way to Heaven? Yes, the Word tells us about God and how to obtain joy, peace, and strength, but God offers all of these things. What He really wants is our intimacy. He wants us to talk with Him in prayer. He is the Living Word. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t read the Bible, of course we should! But we should not make it our only interaction with God. (“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” ~John 39-40).
- Ministry, whether you’re a member of one or if you founded one–if you’re not careful, you can find more joy in the success and impact in your ministry than in the God who graces you to serve in it. Remember, it is God who works in you! (Philippians 2:13)
Do you find more joy, strength, and fulfillment from any of the things above than you do in Christ? If so, you may be unknowingly worshipping idols and those idols need to be symbolically burned! Letting go of our idols can be difficult, but with God’s help it is possible. When we do let them go, our love for God and our dependence on Him increases tremendously and it’s hard to imagine life without Him!
Bottom line is we must worship God and only God not the things of this world. We must love Him with everything we have…it is the greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-37). We must draw all of our strength, peace, joy, and fulfillment from Him. God blesses us with many things every day, but we cannot just look at God as a genie who “grants our wishes” while we continue to worship our idols! We must love Him more than the things He blesses us with. Without Him, we have nothing…without Him, we are nothing (“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~John 15:4-5).
I want to leave you with this, dear one…that our aspiration in life is to pursue Jesus and be more and more like Him every day and not to pursue or mimic anything of this world. Why do we go after idols as though they bare fruit?? They do not! In fact, worshipping them will only lead to shame. Ask God to reveal your ‘sneaky idols’ to you so they can be destroyed. You can also ask yourself, “Is there anything I seem to live my life for more than God?”
Is there anything at all keeping you from loving and worshipping God the way you should?? Have any of these idols died for you to give you eternal life?
Please read one of my latest posts, “Flattering God vs Praising God,” a guest post I wrote for Bible Reasons blog!