Summary: We are given an express command from God not to put anything before Him. So tonight I want us to search our hearts and find out if there are any idols in our lives, and without reservation rip them out of our lives.
Watch out for Idols
In our world we have many people who have ‘idols’ in their lives… like Robbie Williams, a British pop singer, spoke on BBC Radio in July 2001…
Williams said, “…I haven’t had a drink or done drugs for seven months, and I’m feeling good. I’m enjoying it… Instead of drinking I pray. Not for long. I ask Elvis to look after me. I’ve got the tattoo on my arm: "Elvis grant me serenity." Before the gig we all get in a huddle and pray to Elvis to look after us while we’re onstage…”
Now, preacher you are losin’ it! I don’t worship idols in my house… I am NOT affected by idolatry in my life… why are you wasting your time and mine by preaching on this?
Don’t misunderstand me here! I do not believe that there are any of us here who have a problem with bowing down to stone idols, golden calves, or praying to Elvis… or anything like that...
But take that away and we, as believers, still have "other gods or idols" that we bow down to each and every day! I find that we devote our entire life to the pursuit of the things WE desire, and we leave God to settle for the ‘back seat’ of our lives…
Many in the church today service and worship the idol of the pursuit of money, many put more in there 401k’s every week than they give to spreading the gospel, or donate more to help keep these casinos open and operating, than they do to build the house of God. Many worship the idol of the pursuit of money.
Many worship the idol of tradition, rather than truly seeking God about new possibilities of ministry. We worship buildings, rather than the God who is more concerned about the condition of our heart, rather than the building that we meet together in is and old one or a new one.
We are given an express command from God not to put anything before Him. So tonight I want us to search our hearts and find out if there are any idols in our lives, and without reservation rip them out of our lives.
Read Scriptures: Exodus 20:4-6
I. Don’t idolize anything.
Vs. 4 “"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”
What is an idol? An idol is anything that takes the focus off God and puts it on something else.
What does your life center around? What is the primary focus? An idol doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it can be a good thing. Some people put their idols in their safe deposit box.
Archaeologists tell us that in every culture throughout history there have been idols: Statues of little gods or goddesses. Man has a desire, for some reason, to turn objects or people or things into objects of worship. God does not like that. As a matter of fact He hates that! Idol worship is a serious thing. Look at verse 5, last phrase – “..of those who hate me.” God is a jealous God and desires our worship exclusively.
Duet. 4:15-16 speaks of “For your own good don’t sin by making an idol in any form at all.” The emphasis is on “For your own good.”
The outcome of idol worship:
A. Idols will Disappoint You
They always promise more than they can deliver. Jeremiah 10:14 says: “Those who make idols are disillusioned because the gods they made are false and lifeless.”
We think that if we wear this label we’ll be popular.
When you drink this certain beer it doesn’t get any better than this.
If you buy this toothpaste you’ll have sex appeal.
If you play this casino you will win big.
Anytime you put your expectation in something other than God you will be disappointed. Only God can fill the vacuum in your heart.
B. Idols will Dominate You
Paul said, “Before you knew Christ you were controlled by dead idols, who always led you astray.” 1 Cor.12:2 Emphasis on the words “controlled” and “always led astray.”
The word we use today for idols is the word – “Addiction.” You can become addicted to work, sports, sex, drugs, etc. Do you have an addiction?
You will be led astray. Some men seek after a job promotion so much they neglect their families. Some people feed a habit so much that it destroys their health.
Some of you are so concerned for the approval of or disapproval of a person in your life that it dominates your life. You are not just co-dependent, you are involved in idolatry!
C. Idols will Deform You.
They will change you. They’ll warp you. We become like what we value most.