It is easy for us to dismiss idolatry as a sin for “primitive” cultures, but idols are not just ugly statues. An idol is anything that takes the place in our life that God has reserved for Himself.
As pleasure becomes our clay god, we are consumed even as we consume. Pleasure is an incessantly hungry god. The more we feed him, the hungrier he gets, and more is never enough. Without realizing that our hand-fed beast intends to devour us, we feed ourselves to him one hour at a time and wait in vain to be filled.
Idols of gold and silver destroy our souls more subtly. Worthwhile endeavors like work, service, and our childrens’ soccer games edge God out of our life. Driven by duty, guilt, and even love, these are idols that we polish and display proudly. We become a “Martha”, so busy doing that we neglect to be with the lover of our soul. Our golden idols crush the life from us with their inexorably increasing pressure.
Idols demand our all and give nothing in return. There is no time for work when we worship Pleasure, and no time for family when we worship at the altar of Work. When we place God first, we are filled to overflowing instead of consumed by our desires. We have time and energy enough for love, for work, and for pleasure. He pulls us out of the mire and sets our feet upon a rock. We have life, and we have it abundantly.
- God’s Provision – Three Kings in 2 Kings 3
- Priorities – Jesus over Family