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MAKING AN IDOL?

by Jacques More

What is an idol?

An idol is anything which is put in the place of God in your life. Particularly it is anything which you worship or spend much time thinking about. Inevitably it is something or someone which you would gladly talk about almost anytime.

The purpose of this document is to identify what an idol is and how to check if you have one. If you then find yourself as with an idol and you do not wish this, you can then begin to address that with help of a prayer at the end.

An idol can be an object, a person, a teaching or idea or, anything which takes up the place of God. It is particularly relevant to believers as it is that which is placed before the God whom they know. For the Christian it is that which is put before God and His kingdom - His purposes. Jesus said:

If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:26

The moment you become a Christian you are in a warfare footing. You are in God's army and you have an enemy: the Devil and his minions. He knows that you become less effective for the Kingdom of God if you place anything as of greater value than God or, His purposes. And that is what happens on a regular basis if you have an idol.

This is so fundamental to the warfare believers are involved in that Satan has made available demons to deceive believers specifically in the area of idols. These will deceive believers to believe and to go on believing something is more important than God at any level. We know demons are directly involved where idols are concerned because Paul stated:

What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.

1 Corinthians 10:19-20

What are the effects of having an idol?

The attention and love you have for God and the attention and love you have for people is directly affected by an idol.

Because the idol is felt important it causes all contact with others who have stated otherwise to be shunned or, looked down upon. They are the ones 'missing out'. Knowing this idol, is more important than knowing those who do not think so. The way others are treated is a good indicator of having an idol.

Another good indicator of an idol is how captivated you are with Jesus, your Lord in worship. When in fellowship with other believers, during worship an idol will come to mind regularly. If, as mentioned above you are with others who do not see the importance you have for your idol, then in worship times another sign is to be conscious of those people and think of them as needing help - incomplete or, even harmful.

Why should these effects occur?

As the scripture above shows demons have a direct interest in idols. This being so they feed the mind with accusations about others. They remind the idol worshipper of the idol to take the place of the Lord in a worship time. They will direct the individual to the idol when insecurities are present.

As with any deception the classic fruits apply: domination (control), isolation, exclusivity, accusing of the brethren. With an idol this is in direct link to that idol. If the idol is a teaching or, an idea then as Jesus stated:

. . . wisdom is justified by all her children.

Luke 7:35

In other words, the teaching even though it may be good in itself is held in higher esteem than the Lord or, the Kingdom. The teaching is not held as a tool for a job, but as the tool, the master, the answer. The believer acts as child of the teaching. You don't hold it; it holds you.

The outworking of this is that if you are in leadership then anything the Lord wishes to do with someone else can be quenched or redirected in accord with the idol. Progress is made if the idol is given it's proper due. If someone has a call from the Lord to do something and there are steps towards that which are known, the idol is often imposed as needing to be addressed before this calling or these steps are freely permitted.

The teaching will be carried out regularly lest a lack of faithfulness to the idol is perceived. Shelves of this idea or teaching will be full of books prominently displayed. Preaching involves mentioning this idol regularly - often without fail - right down to including it or, making it the prominent theme in say, a wedding speech or sermon. Is this putting the couple first and that occasion?

Demons not only accuse the 'unbeliever' in the mind of the idol worshipper, but they will where access is given, place or, impose whatever feelings they can on the 'unbeliever' to make them bow to the 'believer'. Or, to seek help from the 'believer' - the idol worshipper. The standing of the 'unbeliever' in the minds of the 'believer' is affected by the 'taking on board' of the feelings as their own. These kind of feelings can outwardly look very real and honest. But the 'unbeliever' is actually not reacting out of himself or herself, but out of what is spiritually imposed. If the 'unbeliever' truly submits to these then they become a 'believer' in the minds of the idol worshipper and are 'accepted'. Lasting peace and security do not come from this however and further 'bowing down' is felt as the way forward whilst in fact the opposite is true. Jesus alone is the source of peace.

A prayer
I have borrowed much of the prayer at the end of my document entitled The Characteristics of Deception. If in reading you are already conscious of an idol then be honest with God and share this with Him. Turn from following this idol and instead hold it in its proper place. It may be valuable and important, but never as important as The Lord and His purposes. Ask for His help in this.

Dear Father,

Thank you that you are Light and in you is no darkness at all.

I ask that you shine your light in me and reveal all the beliefs and thoughts

which I have taken on board as if from you, but in reality are not of you.

I want to believe what is from you and nothing from the enemy.

Just as you asked the church at Laodicea to anoint their eyes with eyesalve

that they may see, so I ask that you anoint my eyes that I may see.

I ask this as I may be blind to idols in my life and ask that you reveal them.

Show me where my worship to you is interfered by an idol.

Show me where my relationship with others are influenced by an idol.

I repent and reject all idols (name any here).

It is only you that I want as first in my life.

 

And it is you alone I wish to have as Lord.

Thank you that you promise to forgive all those who confess their sins to you.

I receive your forgiveness now.

Thank you.

I thank you that the Holy Spirit will guide into all truth.

I ask for discernment and courage to unlearn wrong things received

as well as prevent new things which attempt to make a home in me.

Help me to recognise any fresh work of the enemy

which attempts to divert me from your ways.

Thank you that you give wisdom freely to those who ask.

Father I ask all this in Jesus' Name,

Amen.

For further interest I recommend The Characteristics of Deception: Various thoughts which help identify the work of deceiving spirits in Believers; Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?: How do you discern a wolf in sheep's clothing? How can you tell someone who is leading others astray? What are the signs?



Ref. S.048

Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from the New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

© copyright Jacques More 2000. All Rights Reserved.

· The Early Church Fathers and Predestination
· The Impossibility of Evolution
· Harry Potter - The Catalyst
· Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?
· The Characteristics of Deception
· What About Tithing?