Idols in Your Life: Have You Replaced God?
What is an idol? An idol is an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/idol?s=t, 2013). In other words, an object representing a god and is constantly look towards for worship. As a follower of Christ, there are certain idols we can recognize almost immediately because it may be a statue covered in gold, animal figures adorned in jewelry, and be labeled a god. However, can we recognize those everyday, “harmless” and less noticeable idols/gods in our life?
Having an idol in your life basically replaces God. It takes him out of being number one and puts this thing in His place. How do you feel when someone picks up their phone in the middle of a conversation or won’t look away from the TV when you are talking to them? How would you feel if you are in a relationship with someone and find out he or she replaced you with someone else? Frustrated, hurt, angry, right? Our God feels the same way. Here is what God has to say about idols:
“I am the Lord your God…“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20: 2-5).
“Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (1 Cor.10:14)
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colo. 3:5)
“For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.” (Psalm 96:5)
Here are some idols in our life we may or may not be aware of:
1) YOU– In this very “me” centered society, you can easily replace God. I’ve literally seen some of my teens and friends take hundreds of pictures of themselves, take hours to get ready regardless of who’s time they are wasting, and/or speak in a “me” centered attitude. Ever heard of the word, narcissistic?
2) Personal problems/challenges– If you are focused on your problems in such a way where you feel the cross wasn’t good enough to cover them, then you have officially replaced God with you. It usually comes in the form of depression. Take your focus of you, throw it towards Him, and you will begin to see positive changes including energy and God’s original anti-depressant, hope.
3) Boyfriend/girlfriend– We are meant for relationships and they can be a beautiful thing. However, relationships are not meant to take God’s place. The word obsession comes to mind. Remember He gives and takes away. If you are not honoring God with the relationship He has blessed you with, then you are putting your relationship in jeopardy. You know your relationship and you know what this looks like to you.
4) Technology– Facebook, Instagram, Android, iPhone, iAnything, (notice the “I”), all these things take up your time. Some of us wake up to, go throughout our day reaching for it, checking it, ruled by it. This things have become like another leg or arm. Especially when it comes to sexual purity, some of these items are the doorways into lustful worlds.
5) Hobby/sports– Do these things take up your whole schedule to the point where you are exhausted and don’t have time for anything else, including God? Sometimes our teams/clubs become more important. Loyalty tends to lean towards them. Our loyalty needs to lean towards God.
6) Friendships– It’s great having people you can connect with. However, when you start compromising your values in order to remain popular then it becomes an idol issue. When you value the opinion of your friends over God they have replaced Him.
These are just a few things to think about. Are there any other things that jump out at you? We have to keep in mind these things aren’t necessarily bad but they can become toxic if you don’t start putting limits on them. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to find out whether or not they have become an idol in your life?:
1) How much time am I investing into it?
2) Do I go to it for comfort and peace?
3) How do I behave if I don’t have it in my everyday life?
4) Would I give it up if God asked me to?
5) Is it taking time away from me getting into a deeper relationship with God?
If you answered these questions honestly and have found that particular item has become an idol, then here are some tips to get you back on track:
1) Repent– I know this term has been abused but there is real meaning and healing behind it. We not only ask for forgiveness but our focus back to God.
2) Fast– Sometimes there are things in our life we need a break from. Try doing a fast (meaning taking a few hours, weeks, days, staying away from that particular thing and replacing it with things of God) of this idol anywhere from 3-5 days. Ask God for the proper timing.
3) Focus– Step back and take a look at your life. Set some goals. Are you satisfied with where you are in your relationship with God? If not, take this time to think about where you want to be and how to get there.
The biggest weapon the enemy has is distraction. He will try to distract you from the things of God and keep you from doing God’s work. Seek the Lord’s face and He WILL give you the desires of your heart.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).
Baskets of Blessings!
Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!