“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
The word “idolatry” is probably a term that is missed by many in our culture today. When we think of idolatry and idol worship, my guess is that we think about primitive cultures that lived thousands of years ago or third world countries today, but I think we have a tendency to assume that this is not an issue for us. Old Testament times probably come to mind when the topic of idolatry is brought up, but again, I think we fail to see how it can be, or rather how it is very present in western Christianity.
Idolatry defined – the object of our chief focus; anything that has become a “god” in our lives that demands much of our time, focus, and energy
Is the veil slowly starting to pull back from our eyes? Is it starting to look much clearer to you now? I’ve had to take a good, hard look in the mirror myself lately in regards to the modern day idols that are present in my life. Anything that robs your attention, affection, and priority away from the Lord is serving as an idol in your life. Anything that consistently comes before God serves as an idol in your life. Anything that you are willing to sin for represents an idol in your life. Where do you look for fulfillment first? Is it in a person or an activity that you find your fulfillment? How you answer that question will indicate the areas of idolatry in your life.
The idol of comfort – How much do you value your comforts and if they were taken away, would you be content in Christ alone? Does the thought of losing some of your comforts that money has afforded you cause you fear or anxiety? “I won’t be happy or content without __________.”
The idol of pleasure – Are you driven by instant gratification and satisfying the cravings of your flesh? Do your actions speak, “I want what I want, and I want it now”?
The idol of recognition – Do you need to be recognized in order to feel worth and value? Do you pursue the attention and praise of others?
The idol of power – Are you addicted to power and the need to be ruling over others? Is the pursuit of power evident in your life?
The idol of control – Are you unable to relinquish control of things in your life? Do you obsess about controlling the people and situations around you?
The idol of acceptance – Does other’s acceptance of you make or break you? When others do not accept you, to what degree are you devastated by their rejection?
The idol of being right – Do you always feel the need to be right, to have the last word, to prove your point?
Convicted yet? These are just a few but a few too many that are overwhelmingly present in our lives today. Modern day idols and modern day idolatry is a reality that we are immersed in, and it is bondage that we need to daily fight against. Keeping God first in our lives doesn’t happen by accident. It is the intentional, daily pursuit of God that keeps Him in His rightful place in our hearts.