A few weeks ago, I was writing a talk about true freedom and what it means to create idols in our lives- it sounds heavy but I’m realising it bears more relevance to my life than I first realised.
In Exodus 20 God has just freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and he tells His people not to build an idol to bow down to:
“You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.” Exodus 20:22-23
Then, what do you think happens in Exodus 32? The Israelites build an idol in the shape of a golden calf, give offerings to it, worship it and even declare that this is the god that brought them out of slavery in Egypt!
God had forbidden them to do this, and He was angry with his people and justifiably so. He had promised to “be their God and for them to be His people”. He had rescued them, redeemed them and acted in miraculous ways on their behalf. He loved his people with a jealous love and didn’t want them to bow down and worship another.
Why did God hate His people worshipping an idol? Because He knew that idols only bring us back into slavery and bondage. Idols promise much, but deliver very little. They demand of us, disappoint us and cannot fill the space in our hearts that was meant for God. Ultimately, they can never bring freedom that God can bring.
What is an idol? Anything in our hearts and lives that we believe if we did not have, our lives would hardly be worth living. They are the most important things to us and even good things can become idols.
It might be other’s opinions, academic achievement, your social status, having a boyfriend or your weight and what you eat…
The less obvious ones, and the ones that really challenged me, were my friends, my family and the future things I hope for, like marriage and children of my own. All of these good things can lose their place in our lives as we are prone to put all our hope and trust in them.
Questions to ask yourself:
Is there anything in your life that is more important to you than God?
Is there anything that you are relying on to satisfy you more than Him?
Is there anything that you’re hoping will bring your ultimate happiness and satisfaction?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, or even might be yes, we are in danger of creating an idol.
Only God can fill that hole in your life for meaning, contentment, satisfaction and love. Only He can give you the desires of your heart and set you free. Don’t let anything or anyone else get in the way of Him. Don’t enslave yourself to an idol, but know the freeing, transforming power of making Him your number 1 today!