Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)
Scripture is very clear that we are to flee from idols. That we are not to worship them above God. With the exception of some far-flung people groups, we normally do not see idol worship in the forms that we may envision. It is rare indeed to see someone these days worshiping a golden calf. However, it does still exist in our culture and in our daily way of life. Many will say…”I don’t worship objects of stone and gold”. That may be true. The reality is that idols take on many different forms.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5).
Idolatry is anything you place above your love and worship of God. Anything that you use to fill that hole in your heart that can only be filled by Christ. It is such a sly and dangerous foe. It slides in taking on many forms. Some of these are obvious: drugs, lust, pornography, and alcohol. However, there are others less obvious: food, sports, knowledge, possessions, money, and many others. It is so easy for the love of these to take over the leadership of our lives. It is so easy for us to lose our focus on God and move our focus to these modern idols. Jesus was aware of these distractions and He warned us with these words “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”(Matthew 6:24).
I would not say that it is sinful to enjoy food, sports, or knowledge. I would not say that having possessions is, in itself, a sin. However, we need to look inside and ask what master do we serve. Are we willing to give up these items for the kingdom? If Christ were to ask you to drop these and follow Him would you? Are there things that we do in place of spending time with Christ? Do the passions of our lives glorify the kingdom? These are all things that need to be looked at closely in our lives. Take a moment and take an inventory of what you truly hold important. There is no doubt where we rank in the eyes of Christ. He holds us as his precious bride. His love for us is evidenced by his sacrifice on the cross.
“For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:29-34).