What is an idol, anyway?

Idols.  I think it is safe to say that, when talking about idols in the Biblical sense, the image pops into our minds of statues or other man-made things that we choose to worship.  But in the grand scheme of things, those types of idols are only a small part of what is placed before God.  Now, Webster’s dictionary defines an idol as a representation or symbol of an object of worship: a false godso if it is a representation or symbol, it can be many things.  Money, worry, job, children, anger, food, alcohol, sex and a myriad of other things could be considered an idol.  I have, as likely many followers of Christ can say as well, had idols in my life.  I have spent many nights thinking about how I was going to pay my bills instead of giving the problem to God, letting Him handle it, and then praising Him for it.  I have sacrificed many a blessing because I was too busy chasing after something that ultimately could not bring me peace or joy that lasted more than a few minutes, or at best, a few days.  The valley is a place that I am more familiar with than I would like to be.  The mountain is where I prefer to find myself, but without the valleys, how could I possibly know that there was a mountain to be on in the first place.  I’ve spent a good part of my life searching for something and then grasping onto the first thing that made me feel whole, only to learn that the wholeness was only temporary and that the weight of my burdens soon overpowered me again and I would find myself right back where I started.  God doesn’t share.  He won’t give blessings to us when we are giving our praise and adoration to something else.  It took me a long time to come to the realization that there is only one thing I truly need to be at peace with myself, with my life and with the world around me, but once I realized it, it was so simple that I could scarcely believe that I had been looking everywhere for what was in my heart to begin with.  When I asked Jesus to save me, He did and the Holy Spirit took His place in my heart and soul, but, and isn’t it a shame that there always has to be a but … but when I put the stress and failures of my life on a pedestal, then I hinder any blessing that could have been mine.  This whole post came about because I was reading in 1 John, chapter 5 this morning.  The chapter is about love and faith, confidence in God when praying for things that are in His will and the knowledge that He will provide them for us.  But the very last verse says Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. There can be no confidence in God when He is not the center of our lives, if He is not the object of our worship and if He is only an afterthought, so little children, keep yourselves from idols, amen.

1 John 5:14-15:  14 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us, 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him

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