By Sandy Kirby Quandt
God made it perfectly clear how he feels about anything we place before him in our lives. When God gave Moses the first commandment on Mount Sinai, (Exodus 20) God said nothing was to be placed before him. Nothing. Yet, even while God was telling Moses, You shall have no other gods before me, the Israelites were busy in the camp melting down gold to be crafted into an idol.
We recall the story. We remember how angry it made God and Moses. We promise we would never do such a thing. But have we? Is there something in our life, other than God, that consumes our devotion and passion? Is there something in our life we look to for help, status, success? Have we fashioned any golden calves? How we spend our time and resources is a good indicator of who, or what, we worship.
An idol is described as any person or thing that dominates our life. It is anything we place before God. Anything we worship. An image. A statue. A person. Idols in today’s world may be less obvious to spot than a Golden Calf.
It might be an idol if…we spend more time trying to improve our golf handicap than we spend trying to improve our spiritual handicap.
It might be an idol if…we spend more effort on how we look on the outside than we spend on how we look on the inside.
It might be an idol if…we spend more time on the computer connecting with “Friends” than we spend in God’s word connecting with our one true friend. Idols do not satisfy.
Only God can satisfy. Idols create a desire within us to want a bigger, better model. God gives joy and peace to those who desire him. Idols disappoint and let us down. God never disappoints.
It might be an idol if…we worship a person for their talent, instead of worshiping the Creator who gave that talent.
It might be an idol if…we would grieve over its loss more than we would grieve over a lost soul.
It might be an idol if…we spend more time admiring its speed, classic look, or rugged power than we spend appreciating the fact we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Rituals of worship can become idols if we allow them to become more important to us than God. God condemns idolatrous acts of worship. God points out the folly of expecting idols to save us. Only God can save. God has expectations of our acts of worship.
It might be an idol if…we love the rituals of worship, but don’t demonstrate the love of the Father living in us.
It might be an idol if…our worship is an attempt to manipulate God instead of an opportunity to glorify him.
It might be an idol if…we can quote chapter and verse, yet remain unchanged through the power of the Holy Word.
Are there idols in our lives we are unaware of? Are there idols we are unwilling to name, for fear we might need to change, or give them up?
Before we can remove them we must acknowledge we have allowed idols to exist, and that they are powerless to help us. As God points out, all idols are worthless. They are less than nothing. They cannot help us in fearful or difficult situations. Idols cannot give eternal salvation. They cannot forgive sins. Only God can do that.
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.
Some people make idols, but they are worth nothing. People treasure them, but they are useless. Isaiah 44:9a (NCV)
I wish you well. Sandy Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!
The above is an excerpt from an article I wrote which ran in Standard Publishing’s, The Lookout, July 22, 2012.