Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods) — [from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life] (1 John 5:21 – Amplified).
In India idols dot the landscape. Everywhere you turn, someone has erected an idol of one the thousands of Hindu gods. And they are worshipped constantly. Fruit, flowers, and incense are used in sacrifice to appease the god and to bring a person protection from its wrath.
One of the Ten Commandments is you shall have no other gods before Me. We Christians find blatant, open idolatry repulsive. But sometimes we are guilty of idolatry ourselves.
An idol is not only an image like I’ve pictured from Hinduism, but an idol is also anything used by us to meet a need that only God can meet. John urged the church to flee from idolatry, not because they were outwardly worshipping idols, but because they were allowing other things to meet a need that only God can meet.
Someone has said that idolatry is meeting a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. We all need rest, emotional release, and comfort. During times of duress and challenge, our human nature longs for a respite from the pressure. The human mind looks for avenues of solace from weariness and mental and emotional pain.
Idols in our culture could be compulsive spending, gambling, overeating, religious hyper-activity (using ministry as an emotional escape), fornication, adultery, pornography, work, or just busyness so that we’re rarely alone with our own thoughts. This list is endless.
Jesus wants to meet every need in our lives, and wants to be the one we turn to during times of difficulty, tiredness, or challenge. He has promised that we can experience times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord! In the Father’s presence is fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore. The promise but my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus covers more than just our finances. It applies to every area of life. Expose your every need to His supply today. And keeps yourself from idols!