Idolatry is frequently spoken of in the Bible. Idols of the Old Testament and idols of today (in many non-western nations) are typically statues to which people ascribed great allegiance. These idols had a strong behavioural influence of the people who worshipped them. In fact, what made them idols was not their material composition, but the hold which they had over the hearts and minds of those who reverred them.
By looking and the allegiance of our hearts and minds today, I wonder if Americans and Australians are not some of the most idolotorous people on earth.
Consider some of the common idols in our land and lives today.
1. Materialism – How much time and energy do we spend thinking about and pursing items? Whether it be the house or car or seeing the latest released movie, our consumption appetite for things seems never ending. To that end we spend thousands of dollars on insurance every year just to ‘secure’ the future of our things.
2. Family – A more acceptable idol – particularly in Christian circles – is the family. Making decisions for our kids sounds pious, but often our children come before the Lord. Looking after ‘Mum and Dad’ also qualifies. Family relationships and events can stiffle a desire to follow the Lord.
3. Career – Again, under the guise of ‘providing for our families’ we have create a way to idolise career progression. It is amazing just how much people will put up with and the lengths we go to in order to climb the pecking order.
So, what would it look like if we did truly destroyed our idols and put the Lord Jesus on the throne of our hearts? Here are some of my generalisations as to how this would change our lives and communities.
1. Less Debt – Our desire for things would lessen and so the level of debt would also decrease. Our desire for retail therapy and wordly possessions will decrease and fewer of us will be voluntarily signing ourselves away into slavery.
2. Increased Connection – Despite the increase in social networking, we are less ‘connected’ in our relationships. True friendship and discipleship would increase and would be built upon the foundation of Jesus’ love.
3. Contentment (Less Stress) – Being content with our wages is rare. One we find our security in God, then we are liberated to be content with our financial circumstances and physical possessions.
Ultimately, these are all externals. The biggest change from destroying our idols, would be a greater and deeper love for our Saviour Jesus Christ. It is this love which causes all of the a fore mentioned behaviours. Let’s pray that we will once again establish Jesus on the throne of our hearts.