If I had to pick one topic in Christianity that pumps me up the most, it would hands down be idolatry. I’ve read every book and listened to every sermon I can find on this topic and it still blows my mind EVERY SINGLE TIME. Idolatry explains every and all sins and is applicable to each and every one of us in our day to day lives. And if you’re not exactly sure what idolatry is, here’s my quick and easy definition:
Idolatry: worshiping something other than God, putting something above God
I contribute all of my knowledge on this topic to Kyle Idleman and his book, Gods at War. If you have not read this book, read it. And if you need a copy, hit yo gurl up. That is if you don’t mind that every page is highlighted and has a million notes on it 🙂
So I don’t remember exactly who put it this way (probably Idleman) but it all comes down to this:
Idolatry is not A sin, it is the ROOT OF ALL sins. Idolatry is not AN issue, it is THE issue.
Let me explain: every sin comes back to putting something above God. I mean, think about it. If you’re:
- cheating on your significant other, lust is your idol.
- a workaholic, work is your idol. Success is your idol. Achievement is your idol.
- struggling with an eating disorder, ED (your eating disorder voice) is your idol. Appearance is your idol. Beauty is your idol. (And yes, this is my personal example.)
Make sense? Everything comes back to worshiping something other than God, whether that be yourself or an idol of this world. And given the world we live in, it’s hard not to fall under the temptation of the idols we are exposed to today.
I was watching a CCV sermon the other day and they asked some good questions for those of you who might not know what your idol(s) is. If that’s the case, listen up:
- What do you spend most of your time doing?
- What do you spend most of your time thinking about?
- What do you spend your money on?
- What keeps you from getting closer with God? From going to church?
- What area of your life do you feel like you need to control?
If you spend most of your time working out, maybe appearance is a God for you. If you can’t make it to church because you’re too busy watching or playing sports, maybe athletics is a God for you. If you freak out when you don’t get all A’s, maybe perfectionism is a God for you. There’s a multitude of other things than can become Gods and here’s the part to keep in mind:
These things usually start off as good things, but GOOD things can easily turn into GOD things.
Let’s take grades, for example. Wanting to get good grades is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s an excellent thing. But if your grades are controlling your life and you view them as an indication of your worth, that’s where the issue is. That’s when you know a good thing has turned into a God thing.
Now here’s a toughie: relationships. Relationships are good, relationships are healthy. We are meant for connection. But a relationship with a person should never come before a relationship with God. Ask yourself: are you more concerned about spending time with _________ or spending time with God? Are you more worried about the approval of others or the approval of God? If someone is straying you away from God, is that relationship really worth it?
When it comes down to it, we were CREATED to live a life with God as our #1. That’s why life starts to get messy when we start living life differently. And I get it, I really do. Life is busy and there’s so many things vying for our time and attention, but remember WHO created you and WHY He created you: to serve Him.
Regardless of whatever idol you might find yourself a slave to, we’re all searching for the same thing: love, fulfillment, acceptance. But here’s the catch:
We’re searching for THINGS to fill that void when GOD is the only one who can.
A “perfect” body? Good grades? A high income? Not gonna do it. It’s deeper than that, it requires something greater than that. It requires Jesus.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on this myself. I still struggle every day with the gods of this world. I constantly have to remind myself that in order to have God first in my life, I must die to myself. I must keep God on His throne. I must remember that:
- NOTHING is more important than God
- I am loved and valuable REGARDLESS of my appearance or achievements
- If I’m spending too much time thinking or doing something, it may be a god for me
This is not something to be ashamed of. You must address and confront your gods before you can tackle them. This was KEY in my own recovery. Once I realized it was a spiritual battle, the game completely changed.
And please know this: you are not alone when it comes to this. We ALL have gods. Some just look different than others. Some are more hidden than others. But maybe the most hidden ones are the deepest ones? Maybe the people who seem to have it all together are the ones who are struggling the most? You never know what someone is going through. You never know what gods they are falling victim to.
That is why we must constantly be aware of the gods that are trying to attack us. We live in a world of spiritual warfare, a fallen world where we so easily get tempted and teased by sins every day. They sneak in and present themselves as good things and before we know it, they’re God things. That’s how the devil works. He’s a sneaky one.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” -1 Peter 5:8
So keep watch, my friends. Take a look at your idols. Focus on your priorities. Keep God #1 and I’m telling you, your life will CHANGE.
Love love love you!