What do you think of when you think of an idol? A statue representing some deity that people use to remind them who they are worshipping? A representation of a god to bow to and bring offering to?
Did you know an idol doesn’t have to be a statue, a false god, or anything tangible? It can be anything you place too much faith or value in.
- Work – Work is good. We have to work to make a living and provide for our families. the Bible even says if a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t get to eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
However, when we put more faith in our work than in God, or when we spend too much time consumed by our work, ti becomes an idol.
- Recreation – God expects us to enjoy our lives. We have activities like sports, fishing, camping, shopping, games, books, vacationing, etc that we use to have fun, relax, and escape stress. It’s good to take time to do the things we enjoy.
However, when it becomes the most important priority we have, when it comes before work or worship or doing the work of God, when our lives become consumed by it, it becomes an idol.
- Money – Money is a necessity. We use it to purchase food, clothing, shelter, supplies we need to survive.
However, when we worry about where it’s going to come from, or losing it if we do have it; if we hold onto it too tightly or are selfish with it, or spend all our time trying to get more, when we are consumed with thoughts of it, it becomes an idol.
- Family – Yes, I said family. We love our families, as we should. We want to spend time with them. We want them to be happy. We want to do everything in our power to take care of them.
However, when we place their wants over God’s will, when we allow them control over our own self, when worry about pleasing them rather than pleasing God consumes us, they become idols.
- Traditions – Traditions can be good. They are a way of staying connected to our ancestors and our heritage. They are things we learn to enjoy because they bring us close to the people we share them with.
However, hen we hold on to tradition so tightly that we are unwilling to grow past them, when we are unwilling to change even after being shown a different or better way, when our whole identity is wrapped up in them and consumed by them, they become idols.
- Progress – Progress is helpful. Learning new ideas, growing and maturing, transforming from old to new. Where would we be without progress?
However, when we try to force progress to the detriment of those who aren’t ready, when we want progress just for the sake of change through selfishness or pride, when we are so consumed by it we want to destroy what’s left behind, it can be an idol.
Go back and look at the examples I have given. Do you notice one word they all have in common?
What is consumed? To be consumed by/with something means to have to much of a feeling that it affects everything you do.
You know what I want to be consumed with?
The love of Christ. The Spirit of God.
I want to be so wrapped up in His Spirit that it affects everything I do. I want to be like the believers in Acts 13:52 who “were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
I want every aspect of my life to be filtered through and filled with the love and example of Jesus. I want to bear the image of Christ and be wholly consumed by His Spirit.
Nothing above Him. All things through Him. Full of Him. Guided by Him. Consumed with Him.