What is your idol?
Many Christians shrug off the first and second commandment by thinking, “Well I don’t bow down to any statue so I’m good to go.” Unfortunately, there is a reason God makes such a big deal about idolatry in the Bible and since the Bible is a guide directed toward Christians, it might benefit those who listen.
The true definition of an idol is this: Anything that separates you from your relationship with your Heavenly Father.
An example from the Old Testament talks about the Israelites building an elaborate golden calf which they worshiped as a manifestation of God. They believed that God wouldn’t mind if they had something materialistic to rely on. Needless to say the story didn’t end well (Exodus 32).
Idols come in many ways, shapes, and forms and the average Christian probably has a minimum of 10 idols (and that’s aiming low). How did I come to this conclusion you ask? I took a look at my life with the question, “what is my idol?” I took out a sheet of paper and before I knew it, there was not one, not two, but a whole list of things that could be considered my idols.
We as humans in this day and age are a materialistic society. We focus on how we look and what we have and before we know it, we are completely distracted from God. There are so many things that control us nowadays we may not even be aware of it. Here are a few examples.
Addictions have a habit of controlling our lives like alcoholism, smoking (not just cigarettes), overeating (gluttony), sex, and pornography to name a few. These are the more serious idols that we may be worshiping without even knowing it.
Some of the more subtle examples include video games, TV series, and social networking. These can devour our time so that we feel we have no more time in the day to pray or read our Bibles. Therefore, they become our idols.
Believe it or not people, even fashion can become an idol. By focusing so much on what we wear or how society looks at us, we become self-absorbed and vain. Vanity is as much an idol as a golden calf.
If any of these examples refer to you, then don’t worry. You are not alone and there is something you can do. From my own growing experience with Father I have come up with 5 steps that will help you get rid of the idols in your life.
1. Admit and Accept
Like any addiction, the first step to overcoming is to first realize that you have a problem. Having idols that keep you from God is definitely a problem. So man up and understand what in your life is keeping you distracted from your spiritual walk. Then you have to make the decision to change it.
2. Repent and Reconcile
Not one day should go by without you repenting for the sins you have committed. We are imperfect people and we sin without even knowing it sometimes. Having idols is a sin so therefore you must ask the Lord’s forgiveness for those sins. Once you have set yourself straight with Father, you need to work on your plan of action.
3. Know Your Team
You need to realize right now that you CANNOT do this alone. God is your ultimate accountability partner and He will help you overcome. If you try to do this by your own will and strength, you will fail every time.
4. Start Small
If you were on a diet one of the first things people tell you is to make wise decisions. You will be tempted. You won’t feel like doing the right thing. That is normal, but the trick is to do it anyway. Set small goals. Start your morning by reading the Bible. You will see a difference. Only give yourself a limited time a day watching TV or getting on the internet. Try going a day without smoking or it could be as simple as having a glass of water instead of having a soda.
5. Follow Through
When hitting a baseball it is important to follow through instead of cutting yourself short. You’ve started small and worked your way up to bigger goals well now is the time to keep yourself in check. Know that you will mess up and have bad days, but if you give up, those idols will come back and rule your life.
I have found that the more I read my Bible and talk to God the more I am able to feel Him throughout the day. Therefore, He keeps me accountable and I feel more convicted when I do wrong. My Heavenly Father guides me to think more like Him on a daily basis, but I couldn’t possibly get to that point without focusing more on Him.
If you spend more of your time doing the things of the world whether it be for recreational purposes or even on a need-to basis, you are putting other things before Him. The Bible says that “[Jesus] is the way, the truth, and the life, no one can get to the Father accept through Him.” Anything else in our life is only going to keep us down.
The Bible also says that we cannot serve two masters. If you live “of the world” you are serving the world and not God. In addition, idolaters are one of the many things that will not inherit the kingdom of God. Take these things to heart, they are not meant to judge you, but to instead bring you closer to Father.
Exodus 20, Exodus 32, John 14:6, Matthew 6:24,
1 John 2:15, Romans 12:2,1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, Philippians 4: 13