“If it looks like an idol and quacks like an idol . . .”

By Dave Henning / June 9, 2013

“Idolatry is huge in the Bible, dominant in our personal lives, and irrelevant in our mistaken estimations.”- Os Guinness, author and social critic

Pastor Kyle Idleman begins Chapter 1 (“Idolatry is the Issue”) of Gods at War with the assertion that goals can become gods when we serve, love, and sacrifice for them.  Often these goals are not morally wrong.  The problem occurs when our goals become ends in themselves, taking God’s place.  Pastor Idleman explains:

“Idolatry isn’t just one of many sins; rather it’s the one great sin that all others come from.  So if you start scratching at whatever struggles you’re dealing with, eventually you’ll find hat underneath is a false god.  Until that god is dethroned, and the Lord God takes his rightful place, you will not have victory.”

It is important to realize, the author notes, that when God says “You will have no other gods before me”, He is not describing a hierarchical arrangement.  Although God always is in first place, that’s as far as it goes.  There are no other places!  Pastor Idleman adds that a better understanding of the Hebrew word translated “before me” is “in my presence”.  A key step, then, in our journey toward healing and revisioning of our calling is to identify those idols crowding out God’s presence in our lives.

Today’s question: What do you think of Pastor Idleman’s definition of idolatry?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s post:  a new Short Meditation, “So Near and Yet So Far”, featuring the song “I Will Lift My Hands” by Chris Tomlin

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Dave Henning

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