One of the reason I have enjoyed his books is that he does not make your feel warm and fuzzy. He tells the truth, straight from God’s Word, and just tells you like it is! So far, all three books have hit me head on and have caused me to do a lot of thinking.
His book Gods At War came out in 2013 and deals with the topic of idolatry. The full title is Gods at War: Defeating the Idols That Battle For Your Heart. The title of this post is the same as his first chapter: Idolatry Is The Issue.
He begins the chapter with a quote from Os Guinness:
Idolatry is huge in the Bible, dominant in our personal lives, and irrelevant in our mistaken estimations.
He goes on to say that idolatry isn’t just one of many sins; rather it’s the one great sin that all others come from. He states that idolatry isn’t AN issue; it is THE issue.
Pretty bold statement!
Exodus 20:2-3 state, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
God isn’t interested in competing against others or being first among many. God will not be part of any hierarchy. He wasn’t saying “before me” as in “ahead of me”. A better understand of the Hebrew word translated “before me” is “in my presence.”
God declines to sit atop an organizational flowchart. He IS the organization. He is not interested in being president of the board. He IS the board.
Mr. Idleman makes sure to inform his readers that there are many, many things in our lives that are not immoral, but in fact amoral. Such as our family, our careers, money, sports and even great causes.
However, he continues:
The problem is that the instant something takes the place of God, the moment it becomes an end in itself rather than something to lay at God’s throne, it becomes an idol. When someone or something replaces the Lord God in the position of glory in our lives, then that person or thing by definition has become our god.
Anything at all can become an idol once it becomes a substitute for God in our lives.
Anything that becomes the purpose or driving force of your life probably points back to idolatry of some kind.
Points To Ponder:
- Do you agree or disagree that idolatry is THE issue? (I would love to know your thoughts)
- Is idolatry a problem in our world today?
- Is there something in your life that has “become the purpose or driving force in your life” other than God?