Types of Idols

Teenager hugging a photo of her idol

It’s a privilege that as Christians we can have a personal relationship with God. However, sometimes we make idols for ourselves that get in the way of our relationship with God. God says, “for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). In Ezekiel 14:1-8 A group of elders were condemned by God because they continue to practice idolatry. The idols reflected betrayal to God, they had separated themselves from God through the idols that they had taken in their hearts.

For this blog post I want us to consider the idols that we have created four ourselves and in our hearts. Examine your life and see what idols you need to remove. Maybe you have an idol that is completed different than the ones I mention. I pray that this post will be used by the Holy Sprit to show you your own personal idol.

Pride

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

(Isaiah 2:11)

God opposes the proud, but He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Proud people are those who thinks more highly of themselves than they ought to think (Romans 12:3). Even Believers can be too proud to put their trust in God and allow Him to control their lives. Pride can manifest in many ways. Sometimes it can be sneaky, hidden in our hearts and other times it’s in our character or attitude.

Lust

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

(Matthew 5:28)

Lust isn’t always unintentional. Some people present themselves in such a way to entice others to look at them inappropriately. A woman of God/ man of God needs to remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Sprit and as such there is a certain way that we ought to conduct ourselves.

Tangible Idols

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven 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

(Exodus 20:4).

You may be saying, “Well, I don’t have any images in my house.” Really? An idol can be anything that you spend time with more than God and are not willing to give it up. Or something that distracts you from focusing on God and His Kingdom. What kind of images do you have hanging up or pasted on an object? Do you have a picture of a European Jesus? That’s an idol. Social media can be an idol where people spend more time on Facebook than His book. There are many other things that can be mentioned: television, relationships, electronic devices etc. As you read this what is that the Holy Spirit bringing to your mind that’s causing you feel conviction right now? That’s the Holy Spirit prompting you to consider your idols.

Self

Seek the first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(Matthew 6:33)

Do you place your own desires ahead of what God has told you to do? If He called you to leave your secular job to work in full time ministry, would you be willing to obey?

Rules

For you set aside the commandment of God and hold tightly to the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.

(Mark 7:8)

The Pharisees valued their own traditions and sets of rules about the God. It’s sad that many Christians do that today. So many become so enamored with the traditions of their church, that they ignore the teachings of scripture. We can’t allow our own subjectivity and personal standards to influence what the Bible teaches or to dictate what God does and put Him in a box.

Religion

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

(Matthew 23:27)

Sadly, religion often times becomes an idol. There are some churches that don’t even preach the Bible but instead give motivational messages. A relationship with God with no commitment is religion.

Angry and bitterness

Be angry and do not sin; let not sun go down upon your wrath

(Ephesians 4:26)

Some people don’t feel normal unless there is someone, they are angry with. There is nothing wrong with being angry but don’t hold on to that anger, anger and bitterness that you refuse to let go of will consume you and it separates you from God. The fear is if you let go of the anger and bitterness then you are sending a signal that how someone treated you is okay. But it doesn’t affect them, it only destroys you. Instead of harboring anger and bitterns where it becomes an idol in your life, pray for that other person. It’s hard not to like someone you’re praying for. You will also have peace and joy when you let go of the anger and bitterness and walk in love.

Anxiety and worry

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving making your requests be made known unto God

(Philippians 4:6)

Sometimes people hold on to their fears because it gives them comfort over what they can’t control. By refusing to step out in faith is wanting to be in control instead of God to be in control.

Worldly desires

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

(1 John 2:15)

It can be so easy to focus on the things of this world that we don’t prepare for eternity. People are so wrapped in their careers that they can’t see a way to serve God. People feel like they need to earn money, so their careers become their source not God.

As Believers we should seek the Kingdom of God; place our desires and affections on things above and not things below (Colossians 3:2). We should live for Christ and not ourselves, not to earn our salvation but to show gratitude and love for what He has done for us.

Error Or Opportunity?

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

Many years ago, at what was then Standard Oil Company, an executive’s mistake cost the firm more than two million dollars. On the day the news leaked, the firm’s employees feared the wrath of the powerful head of the company—John D. Rockefeller—and found various ways to avoid him. One partner, however, kept his previously scheduled appointment. When he walked into the president’s office, he saw Rockefeller writing on a pad of paper.

“Oh, it’s you, Bedford,” Rockefeller said calmly. “I suppose you’ve heard about our loss?” The partner said that he had. “I’ve been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man to discuss the matter, I’ve been making some notes.” Across the top of the page was written, “Points in favor of Mr. ________.” There followed a long list of the man’s virtues, including a description of how the executive had helped the firm make the right decision on three separate occasions. Since the earnings from these decisions had added up to many times the cost of the recent error, Rockefeller told Bedford that he had decided to seize the opportunity to encourage the executive instead of censure him.

The next time your spouse fails you, you could cut him or her down in a torrent of angry words… or you could see a golden opportunity to encourage.

Just between us…

  • When was I most encouraging to you during a crisis?
  • Is there a particular Scripture verse you cling to during tough times?

Lord, we so often underestimate how much influence our words can have. We ask for wisdom to speak encouragement—especially when criticism might be expected. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Illustration from More of… The Best of Bits and Pieces, ed. Rob Gilbert (Fairfield, N.J.: The Economics Press, 1997). Reprinted in Stories for a Man’s Heart, comp. Al and Alice Gray (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 1999).

Killing Time

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. Psalm 11:5

One of the most disturbing trends in today’s society is the increasing incidence of kids killing kids. It is frightening to realize that school shootings such as the one at Colorado’s Columbine High School, where two classmates murdered a teacher and twelve of their peers, have become almost commonplace. Our culture—through television, movies, the Internet, and video games—teaches our kids to get even with or kill those who get in their way.

It’s the same method that the Nazis employed before and during World War II. Recruits were required to perform disturbing tasks systematically until they were no longer shocked or revolted by them. They were desensitized to violence—as are children who observe repeated acts of brutality in the media. That’s why the American Medical Association and other child development authorities recently stated what most of us have understood for a long time: “[The] effects [of violence] in the media are measurable and long lasting. Moreover, prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life.”

Scripture describes our heavenly Father’s feelings on this matter in the strongest terms: “Those who love violence his soul hates” (Psalm 11:5). Don’t wait another day to shield your family from violent images. The stakes are not only your kids’ emotional well-being, but their relationship with God Himself.

Before you say good night…

Have your kids been desensitized to violence by the media?

What can you do to protect them from negative media influences?

Lord, we must raise our children in a fallen and violent world. Sensitize our hearts and alert us to the darkness that deepens by the day. Show us what You would have us do. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nazi methods from “Courageous Choices,” Focus on the Family, 24 May 2001; quote from “Media Tied to Violence among Kids,” Associated Press, 26 July 2000, as quoted in Bringing Up Boys copyright © 2001 by James Dobson, Inc. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.