Archives For Idols

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Kyle Idleman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. He is the author of Not A Fan, Gods At War and his latest book AHA. I finished AHA last week and quickly jumped into Gods At War.

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.”

Idleman states:

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:

  1. Do you agree or disagree that idolatry is THE issue? (I would love to know your thoughts)
  2. Is idolatry a problem in our world today?
  3. Is there something in your life that has “become the purpose or driving force in your life” other than God?

Last week I began a series of posts about how we, as Christians, need to examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5) to make sure we are living out what God has told us to do.

In today’s post, we take a look at the heart. I love this quote – “Whatever the heart loves the ears will hear and the eyes will see”. So my first question is this – What does your heart love the most? Now before you jump in and answer that question with a resounding “JESUS”, please really think about the question and examine your life and the way you live it.

Think about where you spend most of your time. Think about what motivates you and what drives your passions and your desires. Look inside yourself and see where a majority of your time is going. Does your heart love:

  • Family
  • Children
  • Spouse
  • Job
  • Possessions
  • Pleasures
  • Bank Account

The list above is a list of things that are not bad things at all, but when they take the #1 spot in our lives, they become nothing more than idols that have taken the place of God.

So, whatever the heart loves the ears will hear and the eyes will see.  What do you hear and see the most in your life?

Again, I am not looking for fake answers here – I am looking for each of us to really look deep inside and find the real answer that is in all of us.

Solomon warns us in Proverbs 4:23 that we must guard our hearts:

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

The definition of the word vigilance means “Alert watchfulness”. Solomon is telling us that we must always be on the alert about our heart. We must monitor it all the time because Jeremiah 19:7 says,

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
 and desperately wicked;
 who can understand it?

The wisest man that has ever lived told us that we must guard our hearts because he knew that our hearts would lead us astray and would get fixed on other things besides God.

When Robert Robinson wrote the words to the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” , he understood a little about how the heart could lead us astray if we are not careful to guard it. He wrote these words,

O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee;

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it; Seal it for Thy courts above.

We must guard against a heart that is pulling us away from God. We must guard our hearts against things like our job, our money, our possessions, our family & even our church. Because if we love them more than God, our heart is leading us astray.

We need to daily pray Psalm 139:23 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart”

“Whatever the heart loves the ears will hear and the eyes will see”.