As we all know, cars are designed for land transportation. But, if a car had a mind of its own and it decided to shift from travelling on land to flying or sailing, we all know that disaster would follow. The wheels of a car are made to roll on land, but when it deviates from the very object that it was designed for, namely the ground, and begins driving off a cliff or jumping in water, it will only hurt itself and others.
Similarly, on a more personal and complex scale, humans were made to glorify God and to enjoy Him. We were designed to worship, and worship God alone.
But through the years, humans in general have exchanged our God and Maker for their own idols. So that instead of worshiping the one and true God, they searched for idols to fit their wants.
Let’s focus on the word “Idol”. When the word “Idol” is mentioned, what comes first in your mind? Buddha? Virgin Mary? Hindu gods? Or probably American Idol? Well yes, they are examples of idols, carved figures, beings, or personalities worshiped by many people. But, are they worthy of their praises?
The most common idols today are the graven or handmade figures. India, for example, is a Hindu country that worships Idols. Hinduism is the oldest religion and has a total of 330 million gods or idols and they have at least 600,000 temples. They worship graven images (idols) for the divine figures, deity, or spirit that it represents. There is also a type of idol called Earth religion or Nature idols where they worship animals, trees, “Mother Nature” as they call it, and all other natures. These idols are alive, but they are just like us, creatures and creations that were made by God. But still, they are being worshiped by some people today. Another one is Astrolatry or Sabaism, a religion where they worship celestial bodies as deities, like the sun, moon, Jupiter, stars and other heavenly bodies. Although astrology is almost extinct today, astrolatry was one of the earliest religions made by man.
Now, I have a question for you, are there anymore idols besides those I mentioned earlier? Yes? No? Maybe? I don’t know? Well, first let me define the word idol.
According to the Noah Webster 1828, an idol is “An image, form or representation, usually of a man or other animal consecrated as an object of worship or a pagan deity. Idols are usually statues or images carved out of wood and stone or formed of metals particularly silver or gold”, just like we mentioned earlier. However, this is only its first definition. When God created all things, He made humanity after His own image or likeness. God made us with a specific purpose, that we might glorify God and enjoy a relationship with Him forever. To glorify God means to honor, love, praise, cherish, and revere Him. We were designed to delight in God. As a result, the human heart is only satisfied if it accomplishes what it was created to do — to glorify and enjoy God forever.
The tragedy is, however, that every human being has failed not only in accomplishing this end, but even desiring it. Our rebellious attitude against God, whether manifested actively or passively, refuses to benefit in participating in our God-given purpose. Instead, we search for substitutes. We look for anything that will fill in the hole left in our life because of our sin. These substitutes are what the Bible calls idols.
The third definition states that idols are “anything on which we set our affection that which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment.” The answer to my question is yes, there are. Idols doesn’t have to be a perfectly carved sculpture or a figure of someone because in this modern world we live in, idols are being sneaked in to our own homes without realizing it. Idols disguised as big rectangular shaped glasses or small squares that we keep in our pockets. That’s right. TVs, computers, smart phones, laptops and tablets.
Well, I’m not saying that these things are all evil. In fact they were made for the ease of life. Easier access to communication, entertainment, information and navigation, etc. So the real question is, when will they become idols? Again, “An idol is anything that keeps us from God or turns our faith from God to man” When we spend more time, more love, more affection, more money and more effort, in those things, it is then when they are already idols. Personalities also are being idolized, not only by the world, but also by Christians. Celebrities, athletes, musicians, bands, politicians, heroes, fictional characters, Batman, and all other kinds people are being idolized for their skills, status, semblance, and all their other successes in life. Christians nowadays don’t realize that the time we spent looking in to the lives of those ungodly, worldly people or the time spent on gaming or social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for instance, is slowly consuming and eating all the time that is supposed to be spent for God. 1John 2:15 says “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” The world today is being controlled by the devil. So how do we avoid building idols within us? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:4b-6 “…we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. “
Every Christian knows that there is only one God. The Creator, the Almighty, the Everlasting, the Savior, the Most Wonderful! We Christians must search ourselves, we need to drop all idols within us and start to love God.
A preacher once said “if we see ourselves somewhat bored in our marriage life. Recall and go back to the time you first saw her. Remember the spark that ignited your love, the reasons you decided to marry him/her…”
This is ought to be similar to our love for God. If you feel like your love for God is lukewarm, it is because of idols that prevent our fire to burn. Search yourself, drop your idols, try thinking and travel back to the time you were saved, the time when you knew God’s love and when our fire is burning like the sun. In this way, we will see again and appreciate Him. The God that saved us from the burning flames of hell, the God that created us and everything around us.
In conclusion, let us stop diverting from our purpose, stop driving off of cliffs, stop diving toward the sea, take off the idols that deviate us from our real path and instead, take a U-turn, go back on track, continue to run this race with patience and prayer, fuel ourselves with God’s Word, and let Christ take the wheel.