Idols and Idolatry, do they exist today? – free, safe, secure

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Idols and Idolatry is a sin I thought I was safe from. I was sure I could never be accused of such a thing. I don’t worship foreign gods or man-made things. Then, as I was doing my devotions, a verse caught my attention.

Psalms 121:1
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?

My answers should be:

Psalms 121:2
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

The Psalmist reminds the reader that God is our source of help under all circumstances. Therefore, it is Him we need to go to and not be reliant upon ourselves or worldly resources.

But do I?

Do we?

High Places

In ancient Israel, the Bible refers to ‘high places’ to which people often went to ask for help, wisdom, and guidance, and to worship. These ‘high places’ were altars set up for the worship of idols and idolatry. A thing that God commands His people not to do. (An idol is a man-created deity that is not real and has no power.)

The existence of these high places shows man’s propensity to want to worship God, but a god that serves their desires; a god they can worship on their own terms. A god they can create and guide. Such ideas are misguided. they are a lie.

Historically, idol worship leaders often imposed cruel expectations on their misguided followers. Because people believed the lie, and they obeyed. Therefore, Satan has a heyday in these circumstances. It is what he wants. He wants people to believe a lie (or many lies), for it keeps them away from the truth.

Why did these people persist in believing the lie? Fear.

FEAR.

Fear is a powerful motivator. If you believe the lie, you will believe the demands and the repercussions imposed by the belief if you don’t follow through. (I know, I’ve been there. Check out the previous post) However, these repercussions are based on fear. Satan is a prolific dispenser of lies and reigns through fear. So, a combination of these often leads to idolatry.

Satan was and is a liar… check out this article[ https://www.gotquestions.org/father-of-lies.html]. The best of his lies is to replace the one true God, with an idol in your life.

A Great Distraction.

Idols and idolatry are a great way to distract us from pursuing the truth and seeking the true God. Unfortunately, this same problem exists today. Not that we worship false gods, like in the early days of Israel, but we have found replacements and made them our idols. Without even knowing it, these replaced God in our lives, because they became more important than God. As a result, they demand our focus, attention, time, and often our money.

Idols and Idolatry Take Many Forms.

You may think, ‘I don’t worship some man-made god’. I live a good life; work hard; have a wife/husband I am faithful to; I am a good parent/grandparent, and I attend church. You may even give/tithe.

But the darkness of idolatry may have seeped into your life undetected… under the radar. Today, an idol in one’s life can be as innocuous as one’s constant attention to/ involvement with social media (to name one). Not a periodic checking of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Threads, or whatever else is out there. But, a constant attention to it.

Yes, there are many other idols… your job, attention to one’s appearance, a hobby, finances, social gatherings, plus a hoard of other things, only if we let them. I am going to examine social media, as it has caused me some personal concern.

Does Social Media Consume Your Time?

I am talking about a consuming desire to check whatever platform(s) you are on. Your drive to mimic what others are posting. Your desire to present a perfect life… or complain about everything to get consensus and sympathy. You see how many likes etc, a post receives and then you try to surpass it. You live your life on social media.

That is an idol. Why? It is taking your focus away from your life responsibilities and from God.

  • Think about this:
    Does your social media time supplant your prayer time?
  • Does your social media time replace reading your Bible?
  • What about church attendance?
  • Participation in a Bible study group?
  • Are you anxious/eager to check your social media platform after church?
  • Do you check regularly during your day while working?
  • What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
  • Do you check it in the middle of the night when you wake up?
  • Do you check and post things all the time?
  • Post what you are doing at that moment?
  • Post what you are eating?
  • Vent frustrations?
  • Publicize successes?

When you recognize a problem.

A periodic perusal is not necessarily a bad thing… but constant attention can be a problem. If you are questioning yourself right now, stop reading, bow your head, and ask God through His Holy Spirit to show you the truth.

Remember:

Ephesians 5:5
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Now, try to step away from social media for a time. Try an hour, two hours, half a day. Give yourself a set amount of time a day, say 20 minutes, then stop. Take the rest of the time to do other things… like pray, read the Bible, clean the house, work, or enjoy a hobby, play with your children, or something else. Mostly, take the time to examine your life and decide if you have an idol that you focus on.

So, yes, idols and idolatry exist today. It may not be as obvious as in the past, but it is there. In the shadows, drawing you away from the light and into the darkness.

But, there is hope! There is always hope.

When you live in darkness, often you are not aware of your state… your status. You may be a prisoner of worldly ways and thoughts. Your hope is in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the bringer of light. His light is truth. His light overcomes the darkness and frees you from its prison. You are set free.

Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

I did this and was surprised to learn that I had allowed something to seep into my life. But, that is in the next post, yet to come.

Blessings,

Jana

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