Do you have idols in your life? How good are you at being able to identify your idols?
Jesus said that God’s Commandments can be summed up in two brief statements…
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself.”LUke 10:27
When God gave the Commandments to Moses, He began by giving them instructions saying that He alone was to be worshipped and loved.
“Do not have other gods besides me.” (Exodus 20:3)
We know God alone is worthy of all our worship, praise, and love.
Yet the enemy of our souls continually works overtime to tempt us to worship, praise, and love the idols of this world.
Pastor Kyle Idleman wrote…
“Idolatry isn’t just one of many sins; rather it’s the one great sin that all others come from. Idolatry isn’t an issue, it is the issue. Anything that becomes the purpose or driving force of your life probably points back to idolatry of some kind.” ~Kyle Idleman
Psalm 135 begins with PRAISE:
For I know that the Lord is great;Psalm 135:5 (CSB)
our Lord is greater than all gods.
God is not only greater than all other gods … He is the only God.
This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent —Jesus Christ. I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed.John 17:3–5 (CSB)
Although we know the truth, we are continually tempted to worship the idols of power, prosperity, popularity, and pride.
The Psalmist continued…
The idols of the nations are of silver and gold,Psalm 135:15–18
made by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear;
indeed, there is no breath in their mouths.
Those who make them are just like them,
as are all who trust in them.
Our idols cannot satisfy us because they are just that … idols. They can’t love us or care for us. They can’t save us.
It’s easy for us to assume that we aren’t worshipping idols believing that the 1st Commandment is one we’ve got covered. But I sometimes wonder if I have idols in my life I don’t even realize are idols. Patterns established by those who’ve gone before me. Habits and desires that are simply part of my life. Things I’ve given idol status without knowing it.
So, I wrote some questions to help and I thought you might want to join me in thinking about them…
Questions to Identify Your Idols
- What is absolutely essential for me to experience peace, joy, and happiness?
- What or who do I think about most of the time?
- Where do I turn when I’m afraid, worried, stressed, or angry and upset?
- Where do I invest most of my time, money, and energy?
- Would my life go on if I had to live without ___________?
- How much do I think about me?
- How much do I want others to think about me?
Recently, I shared the following quote on social media…
“For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices Himself for man and puts Himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts penalties that belong to man alone.” ~ John Stott, The Cross of Christ
Those words sum up the reason God alone is worthy of all our worship and praise. He alone provides, cares, guides, and sacrificially loves. He alone is God!
When we elevate anything else in our lives to a greater place in our minds and hearts than the one true God … that is idolatry and a sin against God’s 1st Commandment.
Let’s pause to pray and thank God for His grace, mercy, and love…
A Prayer to Identify Your Idols and Repent
Father God, I want to give myself completely to You … to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. But I know that I can be easily distracted by the things of this world and the lies of the enemy. I’m ashamed of how easily I can be tempted by things like pride, popularity, and prosperity. Please forgive me, Lord.
By the power of Your Spirit, please convict my heart to quickly identify the idols I allow in my life. I want You to be the one and only Lord of my life for nothing in all of Your creation is equal to You. You are King of kings and Lord of lords. You are eternal. You had no beginning and You will have no end. You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present. And nothing absolutely nothing is impossible for You.
You alone are worthy! Please help me set my heart and mind fully on You. Help me KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY Your will for me. And by Your grace, please help me trust that Your will is good, acceptable, and perfect. (Romans 12:2) Help me trust You with all my heart and trust You to show me the path I should take. (Provers 3:5–6) Help me delight in You so that Knowing, Trusting, and Loving You might be my heart’s desire. (Psalm 37:4)
I give myself to You and surrender my idols at Your throne of grace. I love You, Lord. Be with me, bless me, and guide me according to Your mercy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Praise God! There is forgiveness for the sin of idolatry … just like there is forgiveness for each of the other commandments for those who come to God in repentance.
One of the best cures to end idolatry of any kind is praise, worship, and gratitude for the One who has given us everything we need to trust and love Him completely relying on His promises and living each day with hope.
I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.Jeremiah 29:11–12
May we identify our idols and surrender our lives completely to the One who sacrificed Himself to give us everything we could ever need.
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