“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD.
(Ezekiel 14:6-8 ESV)
What is an idol?
God demands and deserves that you serve Him with all your strength, all your heart, and all your mind (Deut. 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-31). Yet, there are things in our lives that distract us from this singular goal and we all fail to give God what He deserves and demands, that’s why we need Jesus. Often times the things that draw our affections away from serving God are inconsistent and variable and they change from day to day.
However, there are still those things that consistently throughout our lives continually draw us away from properly serving and worshiping God as we should and as He deserves. These things which consistently draw us away from serving and worshiping God and eventually end up taking the place of God (even if only temporarily) are idols and when we give them our strength, heart, and mind to the neglect of God we are committing idolatry. Mark Driscoll has a helpful saying about idolatry “Idolatry is whenever you take a good thing and you make it a bad thing by making it a god thing.”
Idolatry is when you take something (or someone) and you make it your god and you worship it by giving it all your strength, your heart, and your mind. An idol can literally be anything, it could be money, tv, internet, sex, job, family, books, learning, relationships, hobbies, etc.
Idolatry is when you take a good thing and you make it a bad thing because you have made it a god thing.
What are the idols in your life?
What are the things that you give your strength, heart, and mind to?
What do we do when we find idols in our life?
1. Turn Away from your idol
You repent, your turn away, and you stop giving your strength, heart, and mind to those things. You starve them out. You stop giving your time, money, and energy to those things.
2. Turn to the true and living God
You turn to God who can remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. You ask Him to help you make Him your priority. You give Him all your strength, heart, and mind.