You don’t have to read very much of the Bible to realize the central importance of idols. The basic flow of the Old Testament is: 1) God makes a covenant with his people, 2) the people of God commit spiritual adultery with idols, 3) God calls them back, 4) the people repent and turn from their idols, 5) the people become God’s people again. Idols are everywhere and God is constantly “in competition” with them.
Idols are still everywhere. We were made to worship and counterfeit gods are offered to us at every turn. Even as Christians, we cling to idols – but we can sometimes do it somewhat under the surface; it can be hard to notice when we are reaching for those counterfeit gods. What are some of the signs of idols?
Love becomes lust.
Holding becomes grasping.
Surrender becomes control.
Interest becomes compulsion.
Received becomes achieved.
Identity becomes created.
Wonder becomes stimulation.
God becomes mastered.
Satiated becomes bloated.
Freedom becomes fear.
Fertility becomes sterility.
Innocence becomes addiction.
Nature becomes technology.
Silence becomes noise.
What is there and pleasurable becomes mine and a pleasure tool.
Mystery becomes problem.
A ring becomes “precious”.
Spiritual fitness becomes spiritual obesity.
Spiritual poverty becomes the anxious pursuit of (spiritual) riches.
Accepted darkness becomes forced fluorescent lights.
Enthusiasm becomes technique.
Wisdom becomes knowledge-as-power.
Procreation becomes (re)production.
Life becomes forced.
Disdaining the Cross for the sake of going straight to the Resurrection; fearing the darkness of the Almighty; forsaking faith and hope for certainty and arrival; refusing distance.
The path of transformation and growth in union with God has a lot to do with striving day after day to say, “No” to counterfeit gods and, “Yes” to God Himself. And none of this is attainable except through the love of God freeing us through prayer and through the love of the people He has placed in our lives. Through these gifts real change and freedom is possible! Let’s commit ourselves to spending good time with God and our brothers and sisters so that hearts can be set free!