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Overcoming Idolatry With a Greater Passion
12/12/2012

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

All throughout the Old Testament we see God’s warnings against idolatry—the greatest being His commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3).  Even so, just 12 chapters later we read the story of Aaron fashioning an idol in the form of a golden calf, for the people to worship as their god (Ex. 32:1).   This idolatry led to division within the people of God and thousands of people died. 

We see the Apostle Paul also warning the early church against idolatry in his letter to Corinth, saying, “Do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” (1 Cor. 10:7).  Paul reminded them of their forefather’s actions so they would not make the same mistake—he knew one of the greatest temptations facing the church was temptation to worship idols.

What do you think of when you hear the word, “idol”?  Do you think of some little object fashioned out of wood, stone or metal?  Do you think of some popular singer, actor, or sports figure?  If these things came to mind then you would be right, because all these things can be idols to people.  The word, “idol” can be defined as, an object of adoration, an object worshiped as god, or a forbidden object of worship. 

As a matter of fact almost anything can be an idol, or used in idol worship when given an improper place within our hearts, including many false concepts of God not found within the Bible, that people have believed and been led to follow.   It is important for us, as Christian men and women, not to worship anyone or anything besides God—this includes worshiping the Virgin Mary, angels, and the Old Testament Saints.  God has designed each of us to worship Him alone, and if we choose not to worship our Creator, we will likely worship something created—this is idolatry, and these things become our gods.  

Q:         So how can we guard ourselves against idolatry?

Well, we must understand idolatry, like every other sin, is of the heart (cf. Ezek 14:3).  So it is imperative for us to guard our heart by filtering the thoughts of our mind.  What are we spending our greatest time to think upon?  Is it a passion, such as a career, a sport, television, or recognition?  We can easily find ourselves addicted to any, or all of these things if we do not guard ourselves.   In essence, we need to stop and think about what we are thinking about, and we should be taking every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5).

I believe the greatest way to overcome idolatry, or any addiction, for that matter, is by replacing it with another passion, and what better passion than a passion for Christ and His Word. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to Galatians 5:19-21, what can we learn about the importance of abstaining from Idolatry?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Is there something you find yourself addicted to, or that you are giving a greater place within your heart and life than Jesus? 

APPLICATION: Let’s choose to take an inventory of our passions today and see if there is something we need to lay down at our Lord’s feet and repent of.  Let’s choose to make Jesus and His Word our greatest passion.

LET’S PRAY: Father, I am sorry for those things I have given an improper priority to, and I ask for Your forgiveness.  Help us to see anything within our lives that we have made into idols.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000