You shall have no other gods before Me. – Exodus 20:3
What is an idol? An idol is anything that is used as a focus of worship apart from the one true God – or a false god. Exodus 20:3-5 reveals that God hates idols and forbids anyone to make and or worship one. Scripture even goes as far to say that idolatry provokes God to jealousy. And no, this is not in contradiction with Galatians 5:19-20, nor is this describing a deficiency in the character of God. Rather, jealousy in its proper context can be a good and even righteous thing. Sanctified jealousy would be the response of a spouse who finds their partner violating their trust via infidelity. If a spouse is in violation of their marital covenant, the passionate zeal of their partner would rightly be manifest as jealousy. Jealousy becomes sinful when you covet something that you do not own or have proper claim. God, on the other hand, is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. God is the author of life and existence and thus possesses the right to claim us as His own. Therefore, when He has created us and given us a clear command to not worship any other gods, nor have any idolatrous objects in our lives, we should rightly obey.
However, throughout history mankind has rebelled against God and idolatry has taken many forms. Adam and Eve looked toward and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Israelites worshiped and made burnt offerings to a golden calf. Numerous pagan and false religions worship gods in the forms of relics, statues, and images. And though many in our modern western society no longer worship golden calves or engraved statues, idolatry is still alive and well. The idols of sex, money, fame, and power rear their ugly head in the hearts of many in our world. We encounter so many addicted to pornography, controlled by greed, and obsessed with vanity and influence. This establishes the undeniable truth that humans are fundamentally designed to be worshipers. When you shift your focus of worship from God, you cannot help but center it upon something else. There are some that have even made themselves the idol and god of their lives. All of this is folly and futile.
The words of Jesus are sobering when He asks the question, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). There are many things in this world that may seek to deter our worship from the one true God, but there is only one name under heaven by which you can be saved, and that name is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the only one who came to the earth and died on the cross for your sins. He is the only one who has conquered the grave by rising from the dead. Jesus is God in the flesh. He is the key to deliverance from sin and the source of eternal life. Nothing else can liberate or save you. Thus, anything worshiped apart from Christ will lead to destruction. We as humans were created by God and for God. God will not stand for idolatry. He will punish those who sin against Him. 1 Corinthians 6:9 clearly states that idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Are there any idols taking shape in your life? Is there anything hindering your ability to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? If so, you must identify them and destroy them.
Cast your idols into the fire and turn to Christ and live!