I Would Never Worship an Idol. Would I?
I have always been amazed at the idolatry of the children throughout the Old Testament.The prophet Isaiah repeatedly mocks them for carving idols to worship out of half a log, and cooking dinner with the other half. How could anyone think that “god” could save them?I was sure I could never worship an idol.Until I discovered I had serious idolatry problems.The reality: Sometimes I thought I had to have something to be happy, or fulfilled, or satisfied.That something could be a thing. Like a car. Like my red Mustang convertible.Or like a house. Big enough, nice enough. With a red kitchen.Or a place. Like getting to live in Texas again.Or, most often, a person. Like my not-yet-husband, when he decided in summer #2 of our 5-year dating relationship that we should take a break. It was a hard summer. I lost weight. I got very little work done. I cried a lot.These are idols? Yep. Anything that I put higher in my affections than God becomes an idol. Anything that I think I must have becomes an idol.We know that God told us not to have any gods higher than him—that is, no idols. Over and over He reminds us that He is El Elyon, the most high God. He says these beautiful words to us:“’To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:25-26)Yet we are so like the children of Israel, constructing our own idols, pursuing what we think will satisfy or rescue.I know. I just did it again.Our most common idols are people. No, not those celebrities—how ridiculous is that! But the people we love.Our son is going through a hard time. I thought he was doing well, making good progress. But I see he is making some choices I don't prefer. My response: Oh no! He can’t! I can’t bear going back to what it used to be like! I can’t stand for him to not choose God’s best! I can’t do this.There he is again—up on the throne of my heart. His becoming the man God made him to be had become, once again, an idol.Fortunately, God has given me a very visual response when I become aware of my idolatry, when something or someone replaces God as King of my heart.I choose to visualize my actually lifting this idol off the throne of my life and placing it on the altar as an offering to God.It is a powerful picture for me. This time it took me a little while to make the transaction. And I have had to do it several times.But oh the freedom when God is in His rightful place in my life—on the throne, in control.And my idols? Still important in my life. But not an object of worship.How about you? Do you have any idols that need to move to the altar?C2012 Judy Douglass