1 John 5.20-21
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
When we hear the word “idol” today, we often picture a golden statue of a bull or calf. We tend to skim over OT passages that talk about idolatry because we see it as something that only happened in the OT.
But that is not the case. In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, the Bible describes our new life, our new birth in Christ in this way: “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”
An idol is not just a physical object. An idol is anything we want more than God, anything we rely on more than God, anything we look to for greater fulfillment than God. Anything that occupies the center of our life where only God should reign.
In many ways, idolatry is the hidden sin that drives all other sins.
Idols today come in various forms. Idols can be “good” things that we’ve made “ultimate” things. This could include our children, spouse, physical attractiveness, money, job, or even our friendships. Money and possessions can be an idol. In business or sports, competing and winning can be an idol.
These things are not inherently evil, but they become a problem when we seek our identity and meaning in them rather than in God.
“For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.” (Psalm 135.5)
The Lord is calling. Coram Deo.