Saturday, November 2, 2013

Modern-Day Idolatry

In my Gideon bible study this week, I read a devotional that lead to another heart check - it covered the topic of idolatry. That seems like such an ancient, old-school concept but it is still running rampant through the world. In today's culture, we sugar coat idolatry by calling it an "obsession", "habit", "craving", "issue", etc. Those words sound so much cuter! So, what exactly is an idol?
Idol = anything in the visible, created realm that begins to operate in a role that should be reserved for God.

The Truth About Idolatry

It's hard not to think about my two handsome dudes
all the time. Even loved ones can become an idol!
With whatever it is in your life that you worship, nothing will ever completely satisfy you other than a relationship with the Lord our God! Our human nature always wants more, more, more! For me? There is no such thing as "enough" running, coffee, food, or acceptance to fill the God-shaped whole in my heart. That place of honor is for God and Him alone!

Even "healthy" idols are never enough and will eventually take you hostage, shackling you down with something you used to rightfully enjoy.

My Personal Battle

Here are a few things that try to sneak ahead of God in this season of my life:
  • Running and exercise
  • Approval and acceptance from others
  • Coffee
My personal idols have transformed over my lifetime; believe it or not, I haven't always been a "runner". Long before I had a relationship with Jesus, I was one horse crazy girl! I loved my horses and loved showing. If I wasn't riding, I was grooming or cleaning barn or out in the pasture or thinking about horses. Completely, 100% devoted to horses. I frequently got in trouble for cleaning the barn before doing my house cleaning chores... woops. I made no room for Jesus in my life and I guess I didn't even realize there was supposed to be!


Then I moved away to college and didn't have much time to ride horse anymore. My idol transformed into ungodly relationships, ungodly activities, and then there was tennis. Still at this point, I didn't know Jesus. I played tennis in college and, even only at the Division II level, it took up quite a bit of time! Between playing matches, practice, lifting, and practicing outside of practice, my brain thought about boys, school, and tennis, tennis, tennis. On a side note, I didn't enjoy playing matches very much because I put SO much value in how I did. Because my identity wasn't rooted in Jesus, I stressed about it way too much, feared failure, and letting others down.


I dedicated my life to the Lord about 3 years ago and since then, life has changed drastically! God has been working on my heart, character, and healing me from a very ungodly past. Even now, as I am striving to lead a God-centered existence, I still struggle with the same old negative thoughts that have always ran circles in my mind. "You're just lazy" "Spoiled rotten brat" "You don't even know what work is!" "If I don't workout, I'm going to get fat!" "Don't let yourself go!" Those negative thoughts used to be the fuel behind my passion to achieve and to be the best, to go the extra mile (usually literally).


To win my personal battle with idolatry, I need strength that only comes from the Lord to focus on God's Word every day and actually believe His promises! When a negative thought comes to mind, I need to take it captive and make it obedient to Christ. I can't let those negative thoughts follow me anymore. As a new Christian, I had a hard time believing that God's Word applied to ME. "How could He love me? His promises apply to special people who have it together, everyone but me." I've wasted enough of my life A.) Not living for God and B.) Not believing His promises and accepting His grace. So onward ho! I'm living a God-centered existence for now on - enough with the worldly, unsatisfying idols and negative thoughts from Satan. This is a daily battle. I'm keeping my focus on Him and working on having healthy relationship with good, but potentially idolatrous areas for me.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
What "idols" do you struggle with in your life?
How do you combat modern-age idolatry?


Life in a Break Down

6 comments:

  1. Great post... a lot to think about. I think it's human nature to let the business of life get between us and remembering the importance of the Lord in our life.

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    1. It definitely is our human nature - thank God for His grace and patience with us!

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  2. I don't write a ton about faith and the journey, because it's personal. Well, unless it's with my mother-in-law.

    I will, however, share that I understand. It was once shared with me to think of life as a pie chart. What size slice do we allocate to the different parts of our lives. Then look at the size of faith (religion, spirituality, other... personal definition). Often that slice is tiny.

    It was asked to me, "what happens if the entire pie is that tiny slice... and the other slices overlap it?"

    Just something to think on..or to share.

    All the best.

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    1. That is an interesting way to think of life - I've never heard of of that pie reference! As a Christian, I think faith should overflow into all parts of a person's life (like you mentioned in the pie reference) because, really, it's who you are. As a follow of Jesus Christ, I can't just turn off that part of life and keep it from other parts. My faith influences everything I do in life.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Amy, thank you so much for sharing your story so vulnerably! I'm thankful for your new life in Him, and for the work He has done in your life.

    In my own life, it seems from time to time that God does a work of completely demolishing my idols or destroying any faith I may have had in an idol meeting my deepest needs just to draw me closer to Himself. And while it's painful, in the end, I know it's for my good, and I know it's because He is good. I'm thankful for a God who isn't afraid to do whatever it takes for us to experience His goodness.

    Thanks again for sharing! :) Can't wait to read more.

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by, Alice! You make a great point - it isn't easy giving up idols in life, but God definitely knows what is best for us and we're much better off following His will rather than our own.

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