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November 4, 2019, 4:14 PM

Idols? What idols?

I John 5:21 says: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."

Generally, when we think of idols, images of wooden or stone gods come to mind. Right?  Or we think of it as a descriptor of someone lifted up as a model to follow. "She idolizes that pop star." When I was in the third grade, my family went to Hawaii for a vacation. To remember our time there, my mom bought a variety of souveneirs, one of which was a pair of little Tiki gods. These two Tiki gods were made out of volcanic rock with ruby eyes, tongues sticking out and bloated bellies. And both came with a label describing who they were and what they could provide. I was a kid. Not very bright. I read the label of "Happy" and rubbed his belly so that I could be happy. It did nothing for that lifeless rock; neither did it do a thing for me. 

Now, if we are honest, we have idols in our heart and life that we cherish. If we satisfy this god, then there will be some payback. And usually the payback is our temporary happiness and a sense of security. Our idols might not be made of volcanic rock with ruby eyes and a fat belly. Rather, our idols are a reflection of what we desire. It could be the security of a relationship, the approval of others, success, collecting trophies of achievements, the nearness of family, the keeping of traditions, financial independence, the latest toy or gadget, or a supportive social media group.

Whatever consumes your time, energy and money often reflects what you truly worship. And you were made to worship. God created you with this unique capacity to find your joy and identity in worshiping Him and Him alone. If not, you'll give yourself to worship people, possessions or events that momentarlly give you pleasure, but it is temporary and demands more to fix your satisfaction level. Our idols cannot help us. They cannot give us what our heart truly craves. Our gods are puny, but demanding tyrants that exact more than they provide in return.

But the God who created us is different. God is all powerful, ever present and all knowing. The One who made you knows you best. God knows what your heart truly needs. And that is God Himself. That is why Jesus said the greatest of all God's commandments is this: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:37-38. God will allow no room for idols. He is a jealous God. He will not share His glory with another. 

Let me ask you: "What do you desire more than God?" Whatever consumes your thoughts, desires, time, energy and finances -- if it is not the Lord Jesus, then it is an idol. Reflect on this. Confess: agree with God that you have idols. And come to Christ!  Jesus is a Savior, a Redeemer, who breaks chains and smashed idols. When Jesus is all you seek, idols have no power over you. Come to Jesus!

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