Idols of the heart – Ezekial 14:7

My Pondering

I used to think we modern people don’t bow down to idols. In a classic sense, we don’t. Most Americans I know don’t literally worship creature, little gods, made of stone or wood as primitives. Yes, there still are religions across the current world which do but its not a common thing in our culture. No idol worship around here, huh?

Well, I was wrong. Many of us have Idols of the heart:

What I discovered is many moderners suffer deeply from idol influence by applying this warning figuratively verse literally.

Read this verse:

“who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity”

Ezekiel 14:7b

When we allow things in our lives which we place higher than God, stuff we choose to prioritize over our relationship with Maker, is by default an idol.

The first and greatest commandment is to love your Lord your God will all your heart, soul, strength and mind. Anything that regularly impedes that is likely an an idol and certainly an impediment.

Modern, all too common, idols (artificial addictions of the heart) today include:

Entertainment – Constantly looking for next event, another party, often waiting for the next vacation or escape. People who need another thrill our outside influence to have fun. Continuous thrill and fun seekers. Las Vegas is the marquee location for this idol.

Sports – This idol lives to watch, bet and/or vicariously play, they know all the stats and are truly very happy or sad when teams win or lose. If you are heavily disappointed if your team loses for more than a minute, sports might be your idol. This also includes helicopter parents living through their kids. Also players who gain their much of their identity and self worth by being an athlete vs being a Christian.

Work – Someone who derives an unbalanced unhealthy drive and identity from their career. This idol worshipper places too much emphasis and time on it in relation to everything else over a long time. Work has an important function but it need not be an idol.

Money – Always wanting more. If your supply is somewhat low then way too much anxiety and fear, trusting it for happiness rather than God. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil so the Bible warns us.

Sex – Taking this pleasure, this innate need, to obsession and compulsion.

Drugs – Using substances to get high and escape reality. If drugs including alcohol, impede your relationship with other humans and especially God, then it is an idol of sorts.

Fashion – The feeling that clothes and style are essential, not an enhancement. If you are often unhappy or less than X if you aren’t dressed impeccably, this might be an idol.

People – If you are consumed with what other’s think; if you need to be liked and adored by others to feel happy, this might be an idol. Another form of this is co-depending on other humans. There is a subtle but stark difference between inter-dependance and co-dependance.

Health – May be an idol if you have an obsession with exercise, fanatically consumed with consumption (or lack there of) / draconian diet. If you thinks less of others your self if you aren’t extremely fit, this is a problem and perhaps a self-worship idol. It’s certainly good to live a clean and healthy lifestyle but if you are trusting in the flesh, it’s an idol.

gods – little ‘g’ false gods, man made religion. Any form of new age or religion that gets in between Jesus and self is a cult, an idol.

Custom – ________ fill in the blank

Note: Some, a lot of the stuff, listed above are good and fine in due moderation but when we act like we love them and they usurp God’s best role in our lives then they become an iniquity and sin. Sins and idols are nasty cousins.

Even too much of a good often becomes a bad thing with few expeptions, right?

The chief reason we are prone to this is due to the nature of our hearts. We were made for worship.

This chart represents how we can lose focus of what’s important.

There is one exception to that role: our love and worship for God because only He is worthy of all, doesn’t need it and gives back more. God is good.

I found this teaching to be quite enlightening and wanted to share again:

My Prayer

Lord, please help me keep the main thing (You), the main thing (my purpose). Help redirect my time, talent and treasure if and when it deviates from what You know as best. Direct me by Your Word and Spirit.

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