Summary: Part 2 of 3. Looking at idols we worship in USA.

Worshiping Idols

July 13, 2014

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am just so confused! Maybe it’s not the admission you want to hear from your pastor, but it’s true. Life is confusing. Sometimes we think we should when we shouldn’t and we shouldn’t when we should.

I have high cholesterol, and the doctor told me to lay off of eggs, they’re really bad for you, but new studies indicate eggs aren’t that bad. They say skim milk is worse for you than 2% or whole milk. Granola is filled with sugar and oils. Sports drinks are nothing more than sugar, almond milk and frozen yogurt are not healthy. Even reduced fat peanut butter is less healthy than regular peanut butter. UGH! The only good news was that you should never eat celery before going to sleep. It can act as a diuretic. That’s another reason not to eat celery. Glad I found that one.

Then you add to that confusion, just living life and making decisions about what to do and how to act and it just piles up. And sometimes, we’re just not sure what God wants us to do. But that’s where all of this comes in. Two weeks ago we were talking about the idols we worship.

And today we’re going to continue looking at idol worship. Again, the premise of idol worship is that the biggest culprit in all of this is you and I. It’s that big finger pointing at us, reminding us, we have the capacity to make decisions about what we worship. When we make the wrong decisions, it’s because we chose wrong. I know that doesn’t sound great, but that’s the truth.

Pastor, Tim Keller said this about idol worship ~ “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.” That is what you worship.

In other words, an idol is anything you take, which is created by God and you give it divine characteristics. You take something that is not god, and you place it before you and expect it to give you ultimate meaning and worth, in place of God.

So many times we do this because we really don’t trust in God’s total goodness. That sounds terrible. But when we place ourselves before God, we’re trusting in our resources to make things happen which we don’t believe God can or will. Sometimes, God says NO to us, and we don’t like that or even believe that’s appropriate for God to do, so we work the system to bring about what we wanted, not what God wanted for us.

We do that with so many things, we get pulled into idol worship without realizing it, and before we know it, we’re worshiping something which is not good, that which is not God.

So, let me ask you,

What determines your happiness? Your mood?

What gives life meaning? What worries you?

Our answers can show the symptoms of idol worship.

Here’s the deeper question, if you had something taken away from you this morning, other than God, would you lose your sense of meaning? Would your life no longer be worth living? Family, money, health, job, your home . . . if it was gone, would your life still have meaning?

We have all sorts of idols —

pride / ego entertainment

our bodies money

work addictions

lust bitterness

performance children

hobbies and more

What really strikes me is the idol I left off the list. And the idol of self which runs the ship is the idol of . . . CONTROL. Have you ever noticed we want and cling to control. I’ve really been contemplating that for awhile. Think about it, in the end, we want control; and notice what happens when we don’t have control - - - we aren’t too pleasant to live with.

When we become sick, what happens? We lose control. We lose independence and freedom we expect to have. When we’re no longer able to do all the things we used to do, we fight against the current. We make everyone around us miserable because we’ve lost control. We desperately fight for it and it’s what we cling to.

When we’re uncertain about family events, about what’s happening with our children, our careers, we fight for more control.

We so desperately want control. And what happens is that controlling our lives comes at the expense of worshiping God, because we worship control. Our control.

In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:33-34

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