Hidden Idols

An idol, simply put, is a false god. Although scripture warns us time and time again not to fall prey to idolatrous behavior, it’s one of the most prevalent sins. Over time, the meaning of the word has evolved, allowing its true denotation to be hidden. For instance, in the old testament of the bible, we see the original meaning of the word in action through carved idols, such as Israel’s golden calf. In the new testament, however, we find a world a bit more paralleled to our own where idolatry takes the form of physical pleasures and worldly pursuits. Still, today’s iteration of the word proves itself more cunning through shows like, “American Idol,” where we are encouraged to idolize others for their talents and abilities.

The connotative evolution of the word has made the act of idolization difficult to spot. While the church has gotten comfortable with the lie that idolatry exists only in worldly behavior, satan has weaved this sin into the body of Christ in ways undetected. To be clear, anything we put before God in our life is an idol. This includes, but is not limited to: marriage, spouses, children, careers, obsessions, entertainment that doesn’t glorify God, and… fear. Yes, fear. That’s what I want to talk about.

As I was having QT with God a week or so ago, I was mulling over some ideas He had inspired within me. I tried to tip toe around addressing why I’d been dragging my feet in pursuing them but before I could deflect into more pleasant conversation, God outed me: you have made an idol of fear. It took me a moment to grasp that reality because I’d never thought of negative emotions as idolatry. I viewed them as struggles to overcome, not idols to strike down. But as I pondered God’s revelation, I began to understand that idolatry is not limited. Anything outside of God has the potential to be an idol; anything we place over God IS an idol. Even things of God. Hear me. Marriage, for instance was created by God as something good. However, If I were to obsess over a desire to be married, I would then be worshiping the creation (of marriage in this instance) and not the creator Himself. In my case, God didn’t even create the fear I had, and yet I bowed to it. I allowed it to dictate my decisions, define my abilities, and appraise my worth. I was living in light of my fear, not my faith.

My faith will not be belittled by my fear. I don’t want that for you, I don’t want it for myself, and it’s not what God has for either of us. But it’s important that we keep our spirits alert and our armor fastened tightly about us because satan will enter in through whatever door is open.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1Peter 5:8

I wanted to shed light on fear as an idol, specifically, because I think Christians accept it too easily. Yet God has called us to war against the spirit of fear through His Word, prayer, and worship. Take heart in knowing that, God has already defeated the enemy, we are simply at war with his lies.

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

19 thoughts on “Hidden Idols

  1. Awesome, Celestial. After all my 55 years on earth, a BA in philosophy and two years in seminary training…. I’ve never heard that take on fear-as -Idol, and you are so right.

    Thank you for this priceless insight.

    Your insight turns fear on its head….as something I choose rather than something beyond my control. Beautiful.

    Actually, fear of failure and its horrible cousin, perfectionism, have truly been my Achilles Heals… to a paralyzing degree, throughout my life. But your insight honestly changes all that…

    Reminds me of the Healing At The Pool in John 5:1-9

    “Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate, a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

    7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

    8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”

    As I reread this Scripture tonight, my jaw dropped as I realized for the first time that IT IS I who has been an invalid for 38 years…since I was 17… due to my choosing to trust my fears, rather than Jesus.

    I feel the tears of gratitude welling up in my eyes now. Time to pick up my mat…and run after Jesus.

    May He bless you for bringing Him to me tonight.

  2. Powerful post, Celestial! Fear is certainly a fierce for, but our God is greater! ❤ I pray you are doing well.
    I also wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award. Whether we're keeping in touch daily or it's been awhile , I am grateful for the fellowship God has allowed, and I am praying for you as often as the Lord allows. Stay safe and well during this time.
    Below is the link to your nomination. Please do not feel obligated to participate, nor rushed if you do. Do as the Lord leads you!
    God loves you!

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