Beware of idols that divert focus from God

In Exodus 20:4-5, God tells us not to idolize anything. An idol is anything that takes the place that rightly belongs to God. It is anything that causes us to take our focus off of God.

An idol is anything I value more than I value God. An idol may be parked in your garage or docked at the lake. Perhaps there are idols in your safe deposit box.

For some reason, man tends to turn objects, people or other things into objects of worship. But God clearly tells us not to do that.

Today, our worship is typically not about statues or little gods or goddesses. Now, we are drawn to specific images. We pursue these things. We adore them. Their attraction subtly turns them into forms of idolatry. We worship images of success, wealth, status and sensuality.

Deuteronomy 4 warns us to “Watch ourselves very carefully so that we do not become corrupt and make for ourselves an idol, an image of any shape…”

Idols always disappoint. They promise more than they can deliver. Jeremiah 10:14 tells us idols are frauds without life or power. Any time anyone or anything is permitted to occupy the place in our life that only God should fill, it will lead to disappointment.

The Old Testament Prophet Habakkuk said, “What profit was there in worshiping all your man-made idols? What a foolish lie that they could help! What fools you were to trust what you yourselves had made.” (Habakkuk 2:18)

Whenever you love something or someone more than you love God, that idol will begin to distract you from the things that matter most. People are easily distracted and led astray by their idols. For instance, how many people have been led astray by the lure of a promotion? They worship at the altar of more money, more power, more fame or more recognition.

We must be careful not to allow anything to keep us from a close, personal, healthy relationship with our heavenly Father. All idols must be dethroned before God can occupy that place in our lives that should belong only to him.

Is there anything in your life that has taken the place of God? Is there anything you need to give up? Is there anything that has subtly nudged God out of your life? Is there anything that’s holding you back or keeping you from being the person God intends for you to be?

God tells us to get rid of all idols. If you don’t disown the idols, they could end up owning you.

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