I have been walking some guys through different aspects of worship and landed on a real hot button this morning…”IDOL WORSHIP”.
Back when the words of scripture were written, idols were easy to recognized. They ranged from small statuettes to enormous buildings. Whatever form they took it was clear that these things were to be made a priority. We see Paul address the idols scattered around Athens (Acts 17:16-34). Idol worship was so prevalent that he even points out the (“catch all”) idol that was designated to an “unknown God”. (17:23)
Scripture is clear that we are not to worship idols but the living God. But before we console ourselves that we are “idol free” (not many statues to an “unknown God” around here) we must consider that an idol is anything we place in our lives that is a higher priority than God.
Our IDOL to MONEY may look a lot like a HOUSE we overextended ourselves to buy to the exclusion of our giving.
Our IDOL to SUCCESS might look like job we have to compromise our convictions in order to thrive.
Our IDOL to SEX may not be the Temple prostitute but a computer screen, movie channels or a monster TV
Our IDOL to our KIDS might be that we are routinely away at sporting events on Sunday cause little Johnny really likes to play his sport … that takes us and them away from “regularly meeting together as is the habit of some” (Hebrews 10:25). Then when they are 17 and Mom and Dad try to “fix em” before they leave for college… the kid gets “twisted off” cuz they “never used to go” but now that they have made a few bad choices Mom and Dad are “freaking out” and telling them they have to go to church… they are also telling the youth minister to “FIX MY KID” … but he can’t “FIX EM” because Mom and Dad have never even remotely modelled God or church as a PRIORITY but only as something to attend when CONVENIENT … and when they finally realize that their child has no interest in God… then it is the CHURCH’S FAULT because “our child does not like it there and that staff likes the kids from the other schools more than the kids from our school”…. when in reality the kid never had a chance and simply showed the exact same indifference towards God that his parents show. “But hey, what are ya gonna do?…Johnny loves soccer!” … … … well, the kid may have no interest in the things of God and BEHAVE like a “TOTAL SCREW UP” but HEY…… HE CAN KICK A SOCCER BALL! sheesh … I’m ok now)
It may be money, sex, esteem or ANYTHING that is more important to us than the Lord. An idol is typically something good that Satan has twisted: A job is a good thing but being a workaholic is not. Kids are great,”a blessing from the Lord” but they are NOT more important than your spouse…your God. WHAT WE ARE BLESSED WITH OFTEN BECOMES THE VERY THINGS THAT TURNS OUR HEARTS AWAY FROM GOD.
- Are you financially blessed?————–Has it affected your hunger for God?
- Is your family doing well?—————–Do you still strive for God?
- Are your relationships thriving? ——–Do you still honor Him in those relationships?
- Is your church blessed? ——————-Do we remain in complete submission to the Lord?
Worship is a matter of covenant-keeping.
All who hold fast His covenant will worship (Is 56:6-7), and worshiping other gods is covenant-breaking, for which God brings judgment (2 Kings 17:38, 2 Chron 7:22, 24:18). God repeatedly warned His people against the idolatry of worshiping other gods (Exo. 20:5, Josh 24:14, Acts 17:23). Jesus received worship on many occasions (Mat 28:9,16-17, Luke 24:52, John 9:38). He said, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only” (Mat 4:10). – Sylvia Gunther 2010