Basic Christianity: Idols

Exodus 20:3 (NLT) You must not have any other god but me.

What makes for another God? Well, who is God? He’s the one who saves. He’s the one who provides. We look to Him and are helped.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

When we are looking elsewhere for our help, our provision, our protection, our saving, we are creating another god besides our God. Your job doesn’t provide for you. God does and He’s using that job at the moment. If you were to lose that job, that wouldn’t mean you are no longer provided for. It just means God’s going to use another means of providing for you. We don’t need insurance and warranties for peace of mind. We have God! We don’t need to run to doctors. Go to God first. We don’t need to run to the lawyer; we need to call on God. We need to go to Him first. We need to never act like money, medicine, might, manipulation, or whatever else, is what we need for our “saving.” God is our Savior! He may use those things in His saving us, but it’s His work, His salvation. He’s the One we rely on.

When we’re relying on anything else, we’re putting that in God’s place. That’s a false savior; that’s an idol.

In a similar manner, anything we are turning to for our comfort, rest, joy, love, and peace, are also things replacing Christ. Whatever you are turning to when you are stressed, if it’s not the Lord, you should probably remove from your life if possible or pray about how to stop using it as a replacement for God. We need to turn to Jesus! In Him alone we find the fullness of all those things we seek after.

Something in the place of God we would call an idol. The anti-Christ spirit is at work in our idols. The antichrist spirit is about replacing God, wanting to be in the place of Jesus. That’s what Satan has always been after, replacing Jesus. If he can’t take Jesus’ place, then he at least wants to try and remove Jesus from His rightful place wherever he can. We need to look to God alone for our salvation and for all our needs to be met. We’re to put nothing else, including ourselves, in the position of acting as God in our lives.

The following is part of a blog post I wrote about my own idolatry. The example is of seeking “how to” from people instead of seeking from God. We need to turn to God and not man or the things of this world to meet our needs.

When I got married, I wanted to be the perfect wife, so I read “the” book. When I had kids, I wanted to be the perfect mom, so I read “the” book. Problem was, those books weren’t THE book. The Bible is the only book we need to guide us. Seeking anything apart from God can be idolatry.

We don’t have to imitate others. They may very well be following the leading of the Spirit for their lives, but God is infinitely creative. He never has to do things the same way twice. Americans are great at making methods, coming up with ways to rely on ourselves instead of on God.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t seek wisdom from those who have gone before. I’m not saying it’s wrong to ask for advice. BUT, do we do that without seeking God first? Are we aware that the wisdom of man is foolishness to God? Are we discerning enough to realize when someone is slapping a Bible verse on their experience and labeling it as the biblical way, instead of pointing us to the Bible and allowing God to speak and move in our experience in a unique and personal way?

I guess this post is brought on by all the prayer requests I see. We’re struggling. We’re supposed to be overcomers! I’m not excluding myself from this. There are times I’ve done this right and have certainly been an overcomer in Christ Jesus. There are times I’ve sought from man instead of God, all the while thinking I was doing what was right and not realizing I was looking for answers in the wrong place.

I needed to use the Bible to guide me, not some other book. And I needed a Biblical goal. I should have been desiring to be like Jesus instead of becoming this image of a godly wife and mother someone presented to me in a book. Can you see how I was off?

Lesson Point: It’s easy to rely on things other than God. We need to look for those things and put them in their proper place, so that God takes His proper place in our lives.

Challenge Question: Where do you see idols in your life? Ask for help to see if there are any.