One thing which believers and non-believers alike share in common is that we all worship something. There is always one particular thing which we dedicate and devote our lives towards. Whatever this thing may be, it will almost always form the identity and the very fabric of who we are as individuals. I would even postulate that in some sense we actually become what we worship and it is my contention that this view is also supported within the Scriptures.
I believe that Psalm 115:2-8 illustrates this teaching below:
“Why do the nations say,
‘Where is their God?’
Our God is in heaven;
He does whatever pleases Him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them”
This passage from Psalm 115 conveys the striking reality that when we fail to exalt God to His rightful position in our lives, we will form idols in His place. God has hard-wired every human heart with eternal longings which He alone is capable of filling despite what the world wants you to think. Because these longings are eternal, nothing transient offered from the world will ever be adequate. God Himself is the only One Who will ever be sufficient to satisfy that which our souls hungry and thirst to have filled.
For purposes of this article, a working definition of idolatry needs to be established. GotQuestions.org defines idolatry as follows:
“The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is ‘the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.’ An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry in Bible times was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities”
Now understanding what idolatry is defined as, the timeless truths contained in Psalm 115 can be more pertinently applied to our modern-day living. Idolatry is rampant within our secular culture, which the enemy cunningly utilizes in order to gain a foothold even in the Christian’s life. Therefore, everyone, especially believers, need to be particularly vigilant of this deception under the guise of ‘modernized idolatry’. Some particular examples of ‘modernized idolatry’ may include: career ambitions; financial wealth and prosperity; materialism; personal health and fitness; human superstars(ie. celebrities); self-conceited ministries, exalting any hobbies/interests above God, among many others. In essence, anytime we channel a higher degree of devotion towards something/someone it has become idolatry. This is why it is indispensable that we repeatedly evaluate our relationship with the Lord so as to ensure that our heart is always in right standing with God.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 tells us the following:
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
The glorious truth of the Gospel is that through the finished work of Jesus on the Cross, He has accomplished that which is humanly impossible, that is: He has bridged the formerly infinite gap between God and man. As the above text says: for those who turn to the Lord, through simply being a recipient of His free gift of salvation, the veil that once separated us from God has been removed! Through being reconciled with the Father through Jesus, we are given full forgiveness from our transgressions, and harmonious fellowship with the Father where we are now indwelt with the Holy Spirit. It is through this very fellowship that God transforms us into His image as the Holy Spirit regenerates us from the inside-out!
When the unregenerate human heart truly encounters Jesus in all His Glory and Splendor, it cannot help but treasure Him above all other things. When this happens, a kind of metamorphosis emerges where the individual is radically changed. Interestingly, this process doesn’t come from trying to be like Christ in our own strength, but rather from beholding Him! We become like Jesus only when we treasure Him for Who He is all in His unparalleled beauty and majesty over all things. This only happens when the Holy Spirit provides us with spiritual vision through removing those spiritual blinders through being born of the Spirit. It is the job of the Spirit to reveal Jesus to us because we are now spiritual newborns (see Romans 8:9).
The environment in which we immerse ourselves will unequivocally shape and even conform our lives to its likening. We are continuously being influenced by our surroundings. Each and every year, companies spend billions upon billions of dollars in order to disseminate and impose their anti-Biblical product-advertising messages through cleverly crafted forms of media. What you feast upon with your hearts and minds is what you will be like, hence why Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.
Without trusting in God by receiving unblemished reconciliation through Jesus and relying on His Word as our objective and unchangeable Truth, we are in serious danger of susceptibility to becoming the idol(s) which we worship. Indeed, we become what we worship(Psalm 115:8). This will lead to our own self-destruction because, no matter how alluring idols may seem, they cannot save you! Simply put, worshiping idols will lead to your demise and eventual spiritual death in the form of eternal separation from God. God Alone is sufficient and He extends His gracious gift of salvation in Christ towards anyone who humbly receives it and surrenders to Him.
I pray that through self-examination Your Spirit will expose any idols which are trying to take root within our lives and that they may be eradicated. We exalt You and uplift Your Mighty Name recognizing that You Alone are glorious, majestic, abounding in love and grace beyond measure! May the precious truth found in the Gospel Message penetrate hearts and continue to transform lives. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.