Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
“Ok, so I’m not so bad.” I tend to think this when I compare myself to those horrific news stories or biblical accounts of Sodom. I’m a faithful spouse, try to help others over myself, be jealous for others and not of them, and consider myself to be a generous person.
Then the Holy Spirit begins to remind me that it isn’t so much the big things. It’s my day-to-day thought life, and how it directs my words, which dictate my actions. I ponder this word “idolatry” and find there is so much more to this than bowing down to a golden figure or holding onto a wooden statue. I think about the things I had let become idols in my life. These can really be anything: people’s opinion, drugs and alcohol, habits or hobbies. It’s that to which we give our time, energy, resources, thought life and calendar.
What holds the place of honor in my life? Where do I devote the majority of my spending and time? What captures my imagination? What directs my sense of reason? When do I make the worst decisions?
Fifteen years ago, I used to rely on something other than Jesus. The definition of idolatry in my life took many forms. If I was happy or sad, hurt or angry; if I was in celebration or sympathy, it was the first thing I gave place to in my evening, what I spent the majority of my paycheck on, what many of my plans revolved around, how I spent both my social and alone time. It took Jesus off the throne of my life and handed me a false sense of lordship. It promised to give but only caused lack.
Idols are in stark contradiction to the Word and Promise to give life and life more abundantly. When I fix my eyes on Jesus and allow Him to heal the wounds of my heartache, turn every worry into a prayer and seek Him first, He is given proper place in my life as I gain a proper perspective of His protection and love over me.
Today, evaluate where an idol may have formed on the altar of self in your life. God is ready and waiting to forgive and receive you as you run your race. Let us purify ourselves by putting to death the flesh in fasting and prayer.
~ Becky Richmond (author)