Sometimes God will allow what is important to us, what we hold most dear to our heart, to be taken away so that we may see Jesus. Sometimes what we idolize is taken away, or our biggest fears become reality. We, as sinners, can create an idol out of anything. An idol is anything that takes priority in our lives over God. An idol is what we worship instead of worshiping God. An idol can be a person, a feeling, a desire, a thing, or an activity. The more obvious idols are drugs, alcohol or porn, but have you thought about the less obvious things that can become an idol to our hearts?
Our idol may be a celebrity, a friend or spouse, shopping, exercise, food, smoking, our body, our looks, our hair, jobs, money, social status, how popular we are on social media, gossip, job status, cars, clothing, or weight loss, for example. The bottom line is that what we want or what we want to focus on has become more important to us than God.
Another way to identify an idol is to ask if this thing, person, or feeling has become what we depend upon to bring us happiness. Is it filling something that is lacking within ourself? Does shopping bring us happiness? I am not talking about a fun day out with your girlfriends. I am referring to a deep need to excessively shop and purchase clothes or material items that we most likely truly did not need, but when we bought them it brought us happiness.
The bottom line is that what we want or what we want to focus on has become more important to us than God.
Here is the trick of the idol. We may mistake them as what will bring us happiness, but what we created as our idol will only bring pleasure. Unfortunately, pleasure is only temporary. This explains why we have to repeatedly go, shopping, for instance, because we crave the feeling shopping brings us.
Imagine if our person of worship is God. When our eyes are set on Jesus we are fulfilled with true happiness, joy and everlasting love. We will long for Jesus and to know Him by reading His word and studying scripture. We will long to commune with Jesus daily through prayer. The love for Christ will fill our hearts as the Holy Spirit cleanses our hearts of our idols. We find a love for scripture that we seem to thirst and hunger for, because Jesus now satisfies our cravings.
- If you find yourself in a season of suffering, or at the lowest point in your life, how will you respond?
- Will you deflect, find excuses, or blame others? Your response will be accounted for.
- Can you see your idols and identify them? If not, pray for God to open your eyes to recognize the idols in your heart.
- What is distracting you from seeing Jesus?
- During your time of suffering, whatever that suffering may be, will you turn towards Jesus, or will you turn away?
- Making excuses, deflecting, blaming = turning away from Jesus. Admitting your sin, asking for forgiveness, repenting = turning towards Jesus. I pray you turn to Jesus.
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