Me & My Idol Problems
Yesterday I attended the youth adult meeting at church. At the end of every meeting we have a short Bible study lesson. The lesson was awesome! She talked about Abraham’s obedience, but she also briefly mentioned something that typically isn’t pointed out when dissecting this text (Gen. 22:1-19). Abraham had not made his son an idol, therefore he was willing to sacrifice his son (the promised child) in obedience to God. If Isaac had become an idol to Abraham, Abraham would not have been willing to obey the Lord. That struck a nerve, as the Word tends to do for us heathens (Hebrews 4:12). I realized something….I had an idol in my life. No it wasn’t silver or gold. No there isn’t a small altar in my apartment with potpourri and incense blazing. No I didn’t look in the mirror and start chanting incomprehensible words, but I had an idol nonetheless.
This revelation did not come as a surprise. I knew I had a problem, but an idol Lord? Surely not me! That’s the thing about common day idols. They aren’t blatant, obvious things. They are professions. They are ambitions. They are relationships. They are lifestyles. They are children. Yeah…I said it. They can be kids. They can be titles…”best mom, best coach, best teacher, most creative, best singer, nicest person.” We get fixated on this thing, it becomes an idol in our lives, and before you know it we’ve placed it before God. We look to this idol to fulfill us in ways that they can’t because they are finite. Only the Infinite, All Wise God should have our hearts. It is only Him that should have all of our devotion.
I had just confessed to the Lord that I looked to this idol for joy, happiness, and everything else. I developed a dependency on it. I had assigned this idol the role that God should have in my life. Shame!
I enjoyed my idol more than I enjoyed time with the Father. I sought this idol more than I sought the Lord. I was grateful for this idol, more than I was for the blessings of the day that God had given me. I am guilty as charged.
Perhaps the thing, or things we idolize aren’t bad. Children aren’t bad! Neither is marriage, a career, or being admired. My idol wasn’t bad either, but it was placed somewhere in my life it shouldn’t be. Nothing should be placed on a pedestal, not even President Obama or Mother Theresa. Children go astray. You find out your spouse isn’t perfect. Your job downsizes and you get laid off. Popularity fades, but God will never fail you! He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:8; Heb.13:5)! Only God deserves that elevation. Lift Him up above the earth, above the heavens (Psalm 145).
So now what? Well for me, God removed this idol from my life. He is a jealous God, and He will share His glory with no one (Neut. 6:15; Ex. 34:14). God loves me enough to correct me, and set me straight on the path that I should go (Prov.3:11-12). He knows my heart, as He knows yours, and He will do whatever He needs to do, and orchestrate our lives so that you and I find ourselves honoring the Father as we should. No more idol! Idol begone! <Insert dramatic folklore music score>
The lesson I’ve learned folks: Do not ascribe to anything or anyone the time, the love, the devotion, the consideration, the focus that belongs to the Lord alone. Nothing and no one can love you, comfort you, forgive you, and fulfill you as the Lord can…I pray I don’t make that mistake again. If I do, you’ll read about it in another confession.
- Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
- Deuteronomy 6:15 “for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.”
- Exodus 34:14 “– for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God“
- Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not reject the [a]discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, For whom the Lord loves He reproves,”Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
- Deuteronomy 31:8 “”The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
- Hebrew 13:5 “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”