What consumes your thoughts? Where does your mind drift to when you’re day dreaming in class? Who is on your mind? Is it God? Because if I’m being honest that is not always the case for me. When people think of idols in our modern day culture they think that they are outdated. They think just because they aren’t worshiping a golden calf that, that means that they have made God their number one priority. “The idols of this nation are silver and gold, the work of human hands.” Psalm 135:15.
I am going to tell you something that might confuse you. Idols can be good. Most idols start out as being good things, even gifts from God. They become bad when we decide to exalt them over God and spend more time dwelling on them than our Father in Heaven. They can be anything. School work, boys, friends, fear of being left out, how you present yourself on social media, etc, etc. For me, I feel like a big idol of mine has always been boys. I love to be that girl who has a crush and excitedly tells all her friends about the interactions I had with him during the day. I am also the girl who worries and worries and worries about if they like her or not. It completely consumes me. You know who is not constantly on my mind during those times? God.
I treat Him like a king if I was able to have a great interaction with my crush that day and like a pariah if I did not. I constantly didn’t understand why I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted. I had done in my mind what God had asked me to do. I didn’t sleep around, I didn’t send the boys I liked bad pictures of myself;all I wanted was a boy who I could love and help me to grow in my faith. But even though that is a great and normal thing to desire, it was taking all my time and energy away from the number one thing I should have been desiring. Sometimes God has to smack you in the face for you to realize you are not making Him your priority. We deserve nothing from God, yet oftentimes we expect everything.
That is why I am starting a series with the acronym of I.D.O.L.S. because in our society it can be easy to look at the Israelites and scoff at them for worshiping a golden calf over the God of the universe. But we as Christians fail to realize that we do the same thing when we skip our devotion time to study with that cute boy from our chemistry class, work out instead of pray because our bodies have to look a certain way, and choose to put all our worth in academic success rather than considering what our life will look like in heaven. Because idols don’t just take us away from God’s love, they take away pieces of ourselves until we have nothing left to give God. They take our Interests, Desires, Opportunities, Leisure, and Self away from the Heavenly Father that grants us breathe each and every day.
But I have good news. Because of Jesus’s death we are freed from these things that seem to take and take from our lives. We are not slaves to our idols, we are slaves to no one. So today I would encourage you to take a good hard look at your life and discern if your life is truly one that puts God before anything and anyone else. “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God will all your heart and all you soul and all your mind.” Would you be willing to stand before God and say you did just that?