When is the last time you have had a wooden carving hanging on your wall that you bow to? When is the last time you looked into the neighbor’s yard and saw him dancing around a totem pole? It’s easy to look at these images in the OT and think that the people of Israel were fools and ridiculous to worship an inanimate object. Our American Idols are much more deceiving to the naked eye and just as foolish.
The idol before our eyes does not have to be something the world calls evil either, like money or sex. We could be partcipating in idol worship during a Sunday morning worship service. The pastor could have the idol of charisma that he worships while he preaches. The worship leader could be worshipping the idol of affirmation as she sings for the churches attention. The young college man could have the idol of a future wife that he strives for every Sunday morning. The mother could be serving the idol of her family that she wants to be the perfect model for the whole church. All these idols are things that we believe we need more than Jesus. Mark Driscoll calls an idol ” a good thing that becomes a God thing and in return becomes a bad thing ” (see the whole book of Isaiah).
As Christians we often find it easy to point out the sins and stumblings of those around us, while we miss the giant Sequoias in our own eye ( Matthew 7:1-6). So a daily question we can ask ourselves as believers is “What am I worshipping today?” or “What is the idol I constantly put before my eyes and cry “Worthy” to?” This is something we need to ask ourselves daily because like Calvin stated “Our heart is nothing more than a factory of idols.”
Here are some excellent links as you look to crush your idols:
Article: John Piper’s Discerning Idolatry in Desire
Book: We Become What We Worship by G K Beale
Sermon: “Ministry Idolatry”– Mark Driscoll ( great sermon for all believers not just ministers)