Have you ever considered what idols are holding you back in life? When I hear the word idol, I immediately think back to the Old Testament and to the Jews, who constantly put idols before God. I sometimes get angry when I read certain chapters in the Old Testament. How many times do they have to fail to learn that all they need to have is faith and trust in the most Holy God??
Pretty judgmental, huh? Who am I to look down on a group of people who are no different than myself? I have so many idols in my life. And while they may not be “golden calves,” they are still things that are a hindrance to my spiritual growth. They prevent me from giving myself completely to God. The words from the song of the week really hit home for me. If you haven’t listened to it, I encourage you to do so now:
“Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
And anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
And anything that I give all my love is an idol”
Anything that we allow to come before God is an idol. One example for me is – my television. I have a bad habit of falling asleep with the T.V. on and waking up in the middle of the night to shut it off. Do I think watching T.V. at night is a sin? No. The issue is that I get so caught up in a show and then when it’s done, I immediately pass out, completely ignoring the fact that I did not spend quiet time with my Savior. Can I say that my television has become an idol in my life? YES! My interest in certain shows takes me away from my sacred time with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I encourage you to examine your life and see what idols are keeping you from giving your whole life to our Savior. There are several idols in my life that Christ has called me to deny. When Jesus Christ was talking to the twelve disciples he said,
“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”
Our Lord is calling us to deny everything that is keeping us from Him. In order to follow and serve Him in this world, we have to get rid of our idols. We have to rid ourselves of everything that is unclean. We must allow God to remove our idols so that we can fully serve Him. Let us cut away the unnecessary sin in our lives so that we can fully grow in God.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12: 1-2
Paul is urging us to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice. We are called not to be transformed by the world (and its idols), but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, which is a continual process in our spiritual lives. Paul is calling us to a radical change. He is calling us to tear down our barriers, change our actions, and our way of thinking and revert it to the Lord.
Let go of the pleasures of the world and take up that cross Christ has called us to carry. Believers, we serve a Sovereign God who deserves all of our worship. Scripture says:
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12: 2
This verse is calling us to focus on Christ instead of ourselves. We must put away all of those idols that are distracting us from Jesus Christ. In His time of agony, He focused on the ‘joy that was set before Him’, so that we can endure in our faith. He loved us enough to suffer for us. I think it’s time we put Him first.