Out of all the pitfalls, I thought one of the easier ones to avoid was the worship of idols. I remember reading scriptures where the Israelites would fall into worshipping idols, and I thought, “How in the world can you do that? Seriously, after seeing the Red Sea part, how do you later pay homage to a golden calf. What? I won’t fall into that pitfall.” Well, that was what I thought until my definition of idol was reformed.
Idolatry does not only include images that are worshipped, but it also includes anything that takes the place as the number one priority between the believer and his/her relationship with God. That covers more ground. Remember the greatest commandment according to Jesus is Matt 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. ” Suddenly, I had a problem, because I realized it was possible to make idols out of basic, every day things. Here are a couple of examples.
1) The pursuit or love of money. One of the all time greats, here. Of course, money by itself isn’t an issue. There is nothing wrong with earning a lot money or pursuing career advancement that yields more money. It becomes an issue when a person places money seeking as the ultimate goal of existence instead of seeking God. (Matt 6:33 “But first seek his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ) The Lord God tells us to trust him, and he will take care of the rest.
2) Living for the weekend. This idol not only includes replacing the love of God with alcohol, drugs, etc., but it also includes sports as well. This will probably infuriate my friends in the southeast, but yes, even Alabama and Auburn football can turn into an idol. Strange that people condemn drinking or other vices, but they don’t consider that living for their team’s performance is just as sinful.
a. Other social activities (e.g. dating). This is an obvious idol. No need to explain this one. Just look around at the energy spent in the pursuit of “relationships”.
There are a ton of idols waiting in the wings to derail a person from seeking God. They take on all forms, and we all must remember that anything that interferes with a person’s relationship with God or replaces God is an idol.