In Jeremiah 2, Almighty God mourned that His people had exchanged His Glory over their lives for idols, other gods that had no value. We’re warned throughout His Word to fear nothing and no one but Him, nor worship anything or anyone but Him, to have no false gods or idols in our lives. Jonah 2:9(8) CJB declares, “Those who worship vain idols give up their source of mercy.” Not only does God deserve such unreserved obedient devotion from us, it’s also for our own protection from Satan.
Are most of us even aware of what idols are in our life? Idols have to do with pride, either the arrogant kind or the reverse, self-pitying kind. Many are quite subtle, and for a specific reason: ALL idols are tools the Adversary and his demons/demonic spirits use to snare humans and keep us from, primarily, having a genuine, intimate relationship with our Father, the Ancient of Days, as well as block us from learning and living God’s righteous Kingdom ways, starting with repentance then living from and in the Victory EARNED by Messiah Yeshua/Jesus on the Cross at Golgotha and three days later, through the Empty Tomb.
Here are contemporary and age-old idols we contend with. Like me, some of you share more than one idol on this non-all-inclusive list (some of these will mean different things to each of us).
Pride * Complacency * Stubbornness * Narcissism * Addictions * Selfies * TikTok * Influencer(s)— being one or following * Diary-like personal-life updates on social sites * Poor-me dialogues of any kind * Emotional attachment to infirmities * Greed * Finances * Culture * Sports * Lust * Sloth * Fear * Entertainment, including or especially at church, rather than anointed times with our LORD and or His Word * Society’s ills, especially the lie of climate change (rather than calling it what it actually is) * Saving the Earth rather than saving souls * Government * Politics * Gossip * Slander * Bad-mouthing anyone for any reason, even or especially as part of a prayer request * Lies * Deception for personal gain of any kind * Virtue-signaling rather than making a difference, whether in activity or as a committed intercessor * Answering social sites quizzes and or queries then posting results * Workaholism * Wokeism * Materialism * Escapism * Self-preservation in this world over eternal life with Yahweh * Seeking glory for self rather than Glory for God * Self-proclaimed humility, whether as a Christian or otherwise
The last one on that list – self-proclaimed humility as opposed to genuine humility before God – is one we all need to particularly ask our LORD for help with. Someone on a social site shared a story about an inebriated man attacking him in an elevator. He received a slash across his cheek that required medical attention (photo included with his post). Rather than report the attacker so police could arrest the man, he, humbly, wanted people to know that, as a demonstration of how a good Christian should behave, he didn’t report the man but did pray for him. First, I’m all for prayer (God commands it, we all need it). Second, telling people how humble you are as a Christian is – um – not humble. Third, this guy is a really tall, really big guy and is likely why the injury wasn’t worse. What if the attacker goes after someone else—a fragile elderly person, a child, someone physically disabled, vision- or hearing-impaired? What if those injuries are worse or fatal?
The world system, especially these days, has confused many about how to act and act responsibly, including or especially when it comes to the protection of others. Any one of us might step into such non-humble shoes as that poster did, and at any time. I do—too often, and I cringe and repent when that happens: I’m still learning! Sprinkle me with hyssop, LORD, and I will be made clean. Give me a clean heart, and renew in me a right, resolute spirit. Instill common sense and wisdom about righteous action into all who claim to be yours, LORD!
To the poster and each of us: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
All of what’s included above is a direct result of Almighty God’s warning found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 CJB: “Moreover, understand this: in the acharit-hayamim [End Times] will come trying times. People will be self-loving, money-loving, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, uncontrolled, brutal, hateful of good, traitorous, headstrong, swollen with conceit, loving pleasure rather than God, as they retain the outer form of religion but deny its power. Stay away from these people!” That latter part is better recognized by some as “… having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” In other words: All hat, no cattle. How many of us who claim and proclaim to be Christians truly, consistently operate in the power and authority our LORD gives to those who are His? Ouch! I’m thankful I know of some who do, but my name is not on that list – yet.
What can we do, those of us who want to cease to take God’s Holy Name upon us in vain or in vanity? First, repent. Second, ask our LORD to perfect us by His love, as promised in His Word. Third, begin to declare the Victory of Messiah Yeshua/Jesus over every idol in our life. Turn to the Word to find truths about Who our Almighty God, the Ancient of Days is, as well as His many promises to those who are faithful to Him. Example: Worried about finances, health, your future (or whatever)? Proclaim Psalm 23 over your life—every day, every hour, if you need to. God’s Word, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 provides many promises and proclamations of God you can affirm over you, your life, and those you love. Spend time in the Word, and with your Almighty God and Father. He’s waiting for you to want a deeply personal relationship with Him; He loves you so dearly.
“Your thought-life is probably more powerful than your prayer life.” Coach Dave Daubenmire
Matthew Mead, in his soul-shaking 1850 book, The Almost Christian Discovered, asked us “To consider…the principle by the practice the hearts of most men are filled with, who live, as if God were not to be served, nor Christ to be sought, nor lust to be mortified, nor self to be denied, nor the Scripture to be believed, nor the judgment day to be minded, nor hell to be feared, nor heaven to be desired, nor the soul to be valued; but give up themselves to a worse than brutish sensuality, ‘to work all uncleanness with greediness,’ living without God in the world—this is a meditation fit enough to break our hearts, if at least we were of holy David’s temper, who ‘beheld the transgressors, and was grieved,’ and had ‘rivers of waters running down his eyes, because men kept not God’s laws.’”
Mead also advised, “Well may covetousness be called idolatry, when it thus chooses the world for its god,” and for us to “‘Set a high rate upon thy soul.’ What we lightly prize, we easily part with.” If we don’t know about our soul and eternity, we’ll believe right here, right now is all there is. Tragically, for any who believe Satan’s lies, their eternity will literally be Hell and literally hell.
Despite the fact that too many of us don’t (at present) live this way or we tend to forget this truth, this promise of Almighty God found in Romans 8:37 is ours: “…we are more than conquerors through Him [Yeshua/Jesus] that loved us.” And He still does. Call upon His Holy Name to claim the Victory He purchased for you over every idol and every stronghold over you, your life, your loved ones.
Proverbs 9:8 CJB advises us, “If you reprove a scoffer, he will hate you; if you reprove a wise man, he will love you.” I have a long way still to GROW into spiritual maturity. Every Messiah Yeshua/Jesus follower does, no matter our age or how long we’ve called Him LORD. We must each recognize which one we are in any moment, and choose which one we’ll remain or become: Scoffer or Wise. To assist with this, please see the links provided below the next image. May God guide each of us according to His Kingdom ways, especially for such a time as this. [SPECIAL NOTE: The day after I submitted this article to the editor, I found this amazing, matching-in-a-supernatural-way-that-only-God-can-do 38:25-min. Podcast from Frank of Remnant Call Radio. I pray you will listen to it. I pray you will share it with others. The title is one thing, the content—well, you’ll see why I had to include it here. Here’s the link for “FINAL COUNTDOWN – GOODBYE AMERICA”. Please—don’t let the title mislead you. It’s an imperative listen for this very day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JggnZDTp24o ]
Links to Inspire and Inform
Article about particular idols impacting churches
“…and the Pulpits Are Silent” by Coach Dave Daubenmire
Article: “The Divided Church in America”
“Matters of the Heart – Waiting in the Wilderness”
Deeply Profound 1:07:43-min. Video by Jamie Walden
“The Truth About Yoga That Most Christians Refuse to Acknowledge”
15:54-min. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHBc13ubS7A
Article: “His Presence Must Be Our Pursuit” by Pastor Shane Idleman