When you hear the term “idol worship,” what comes to mind? Most people immediately picture a tribe of primitive people, bowing down to a sacred totem, a tree, or an animal. If that’s how you think . . . think again!
By definition, idolatry is succumbing to the worship of anything in creation, rather giving thanks and praise to the One who created it. Our fallen nature repeatedly induces us to replace our Creator with His creation. Take a look at the following list and see if any of these points resonate with you:
- We seek our identity in our work.
- We seek our power in our position.
- We seek our security in our finances.
- We seek our significance in our peer approval.
- We seek our purpose in our kids.
- We seek our pleasure in our spouses.
- We seek our meaning in our ministry.
Created things were never intended to do for you what only your Creator can do! Every promise that any idol makes smells like smoke and comes from the pit of hell, as Steve Brown likes to say. That idol simply cannot deliver on what it promises.
[Men] exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen!
Idols of the heart remove our Redeemer from the throne of our lives and replace Him with things that are infinitely smaller. We replace the supernatural with the natural. We replace the spiritual with the physical. We replace the eternal with the temporary. And you and I do these things more often than we would like to admit!
Think back over the past week: what have you been pursuing and praying for? What has caused you to get up early and stay up late?
Remember, as I have said before, many of the things we pursue are most definitely “good” things. Work is good. Family is good. Money is good. (Remember that 1 Timothy 6:10 warns that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil; money itself is not evil, as some mistakenly believe.) Ministry is good.
These good things only become bad things when they become ultimate things and replace the only One worth pursuing: Jesus Christ. Everything we look to in creation can only be given to us in our Creator.
- We are to find our identity in Him and not in our work.
- We are to find our power in Him and not in our position.
- We find our security in Him and not in our finances.
- We find our significance in Him and not in the approval of others.
- We find our purpose in Him and not in our kids.
- We find our pleasure in Him and not in our spouses.
- We find our meaning in Him and not in our ministries.
We must make our lives all about Him!
The Gospel is the cure for putting the Creator back in His rightful place in our lives. The more we marinate in the truths of the Gospel and the finished work of Jesus Christ, the less we yearn for created things.
Please remember that everything we need we already have in Jesus. That is the root of all true joy and fulfillment!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!