What do we envision when we think about an idol? Usually we imagine an image carved out of wood, melted from iron or molded from clay overlaid with silver and gold. The truth is anything or anyone that we esteem, reverence, praise or love more than God can become an idol.
This is not only true for the world in general but it is also true for Christians.
We may not have an image in our homes or churches but what about the person we have placed upon a pedestal, thinking of them more highly than we ought to? Placing them on the same level with God is to make them an idol. Perhaps that person is a Man of God, or a sister or brother in Christ who seems to be on a spiritual level that we haven’t yet reached. If we’re not careful we can come dangerously close to worshipping the creature more than our creator.
Dear hearts the angels in heaven took their eyes off God and shifted their loyalty to a fellow angel, Lucifer – that’s right, Satan. Do you know what happened to them?
God kicked them out of heaven!
Before Satan convinced these angels to follow him he idolized his self. He was puffed up with pride; it gave him a false sense of power. He was so full of his self that he failed to see the truth – what power he had came from God!
His fate should teach us never to focus on ourselves too much: “Me, Myself and I” is a disease we can ill afford to contract.
We can learn this truth from just about anyone even Satan! His fall can teach us to avoid foolish self-seeking notions as well as things we should not do, goals we should not aspire to reach. His example reminds us to stay humble. We are not to love ourselves more than we love God.
Mark 12:30 (NIV)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
This is the first commandment. It’s at the top of the list for a reason and it should prompt us to ask where does God truly stand in our lives? On the side of us where we can take a quick glance at him and keep going? Does He stand uncomfortably between us and an idol that we admire more than him? Perhaps he stands so far behind us until we’ve forgotten his presence altogether?
Dear hearts shouldn’t he stand in front of us? It’s where he belongs. Imagine his loving eyes upon us watching as his beloved children praise, worship and glorify his holy name. Oh what great mercy God has toward us! His patience goes beyond our comprehension and his love for us has to be deeper than any sea and wider than any ocean.
Just writing these words put such a smile on my face – I love our Lord! Oh yes I do!
If we love God the way we are supposed to he’ll reign forever on the throne of our hearts. That’s where he wants to sit. He bled, suffered and died for us to sit there. Don’t dethrone him for an idol.
I had to learn this truth – God is the only sovereign. Years ago, out of ignorance I’d created an idol. It was a long time before I realized what I’d done and it took God to help me to spiritually tear that idol down.
We are to respect, love and help each other when needed and we’re also to obey our spiritual leaders (those to whom God has given his authority) however Paul told the church in Corinth to follow him as he followed Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1)
He did not say, ‘Make me your idol and place me on a pedestal!’ Yet there were some who, if not for his humility, would have done just that. I use this example out of respect for all the unsuspecting ones who have been made an idol by some misguided soul. Most of the time these would-be idols are not aware that they are being looked upon with such admiration and thought of so highly. And in such cases if they were to be asked I’m sure they would place Christ before themselves just as Paul did.
But there are some cases where the individual is not only aware of their idolized status but encourages it! Dear hearts be cautious if you ever encounter anyone who wants to be praised, idolized or receives adulation fit only for God. If they are made of flesh and blood, or even if they be an angel, they do not deserve your praise! That honor is reserved for God Almighty and him alone! If you encounter anyone who willingly accepts God’s glory do what Joseph did – run and don’t look back!
I John 5:20-21 (NIV)
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
I’ve come to learn that when we make idols out of others our expectation of them is far greater than what God expects from them. He sees them for who they are: they are finite, limited in power. Our God is the only infinite one in heaven and on earth.
Exodus 20:3-6 (NIV)
“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Dear ones, when our God teaches us we are well taught. Save your praise for the one who saves and give your best love to the one who loves you most.
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