It may not seem like it but we’re all guilty of idolatry at some point in our lives. Interestingly, God knew our propensity toward idolatry because the first two of the Ten Commandments deal with worshiping false gods. Simply stated, idolatry is when we place our admiration, affection, and love onto something in place of God Himself. It’s a rather disgusting thought that we would place some false god in higher prominence over the One True God.
You may be thinking that you’ve never worshiped a false god. Perhaps not intentionally. But truly think about the things that you value in life. Do you place a higher importance or value in them than you do God? Maybe it’s your spouse, a relationship, your job, pet, or something else. If somehow you find yourself unable to let go of something that takes your focus off God, or you love something so much that you can’t imagine doing without it, then it might be an idol.
For me, I have been guilty of placing pornography as an idol in my life. For years I have been unable to let go of this “habit,” as I’ll call it. The problem, despite it starting innocently as an adolescent, is that I should have walked away from it years ago. The fact that I had been giving it attention that should have been given to God is completely unacceptable.
The Bible tells us that God is a jealous God. We are to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. In my mind, I find it offensive that I would give pornography any kind of prominence or attention over God. The reality is that since I kept going back to it, I was guilty of idolatry.
What is the remedy to idolatry? Over and over throughout the Old Testament, we see how the people of Israel would find themselves worshiping idols or false gods. They would destroy the Asherah poles, the altars to Baal, and some other carved images that the people used in their idolatry as their sin became known to them. It was usually under difficult circumstances such as war and captivity. But the Israelites would repent, destroy the idols, and put away anything that hindered a faithful walk with God.
Today, we need to do the same thing. What is your idol? What thing do you need to destroy or put away to get right with God? If anything is hindering you, find out what that thing is and deal with it. Repent from your sin and cry out to God. If your hangup is sexual immorality as mine has been, then it would be wise to heed the words of Colossians 3:5-7:
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. ”