Thursday, January 8, 2009

What Are My Idols?

I just started the study No Other Gods by Kelly Minter with a group of ladies this week. So for the next few Fridays "What I am Learning" will come from this study.

The central theme of this study is this verse from 2 Kings 17: "They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods."(v.33) Verse 41 says, "Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols."

Just in this first week I have had to ask myself some hard questions about idols in my life and the answers have not always been pretty ones. I can tell this is going to be a difficult study. It is not easy to take a hard look into my life and come face to face with my faults and how I shortchange God. In other words, I am cheating God by putting other people or other things above Him, even if they are good things.

Ken Sande gives this definition of an idol: "Most people think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagan people....In Biblical terms, it is something other than God that we set our heart on.....An idol can also be referred to as a "false god" or a "functional god".

Functional gods? How many things in my life are my functional gods? Do I honor God in the things that I listen to on the radio, watch on TV, with the thoughts in my mind and the feelings in my heart? What about things that are good? Do I put my family or my church activities above God? Do I put more importance on completing my Bible Study than I put on seeking God?

Another definition of an idol is this one by Richard Keyes: "An idol is something within creation that is inflated to function as a substitute for God. All sorts of things are potential idols, depending only on our attitudes and actions toward them...Idolatry may not involve explicit denials of God's existence or character. It may well come in the form of an overattachment to something that is, in itself, perfectly good...An idol can be a physical object, a property, a person, an activity, a role, an institution, a hope, an image, an idea, a pleasure, a hero --- anything that can substitute for God."

I am ashamed to say that I have many idols in my life. Even if some of them are good. So as I begin this deep introspection I want to clean out any idols in my life. I want to let go of those things that are keeping me from wholly serving God. I don't want to be consumed by serving my false idols. I want to be consumed by my desire for my Lord.

Life is Good,



Leah said...

Me, too!! I imagine between you and me the folks that read our blogs will get a belly full of NOG. That's ok, though, it is such a great study!


a woman found said...

Wow! Sounds like an awesome study. I too have had a year or more of purging... and it continues. I want to be free from all idols and wholly lean on Jesus!

thanks for sharing,

fuzzytop said...

Cindy - You will be blessed by this study; it is really relevant and I found it challenged me about many things that had gradually become idols in my life.


jennyhope said...

I am so pumped that you are doing this. It is so good. I loved it.

Irritable Mother said...

I think the hardest studies can be the best ones! And what is there better to do than to be sure we are consumed only by our desire to love and serve God???

Cindy said...

To Amy W.,

I am sorry that I deleted your comment by accident. I thought it published. I have no idea what happened.

Holly said...

Hi Cindy,

I am updating my blogroll and was SO sorry that I didn;t have yours on it! I hope it's ok that I added it, friend!

I loved No Other gods and probably need to take it once a year.

Thanks for always encouraging me, dear one!

Mariel said...

that is such a good study, cindy! I did it last summer with the beth moore online group, but if i was closer, I'd love to do it with you and Leah! I know you all will be very blessed by it! thanks for sharing about brought to mind what the Lord was teaching me through it.

AmyW said...

Don't worry about deleting the comment. I didn't even notice. Trust me...if it has been longer than 24 hours, there is a good chance I have forgotten:)

Your new bible study sounds awesome. Several years ago, I joined a group of moms for a bible study at the local preschool. The author briefly touched on idols. I was slammed (and ashamed). I had NO IDEA. I was going through my life filled with idols and didn't have a clue. It really brought home to me how crafty Satan can be. There are lots of "good" things that can easily slip into the idol category and we don't even realize it.

I look forward to reading your posts and Leah's posts on the new study. This has been a good reminder to go through the "stuff" in my life and examine it. I have some serious purging to do...

Toia said...

Ditto!! I want to let go of things and some people that are keeping me from giving God an 100%.

Not only that, I need to let go of myself. Because sometimes I have the tendency blocking my own blessings from God and blocking doors open by Him. My prayer is just to mustard up enough strength for me to just do just let go.

I thank God for you and this post. It really has me doing some in-depth soul searching.

Cathryn said...

Hi Cindy, I wanted to swing over and say howdy to you. I enjoyed your post about idols. Oh boy - it is something we all struggle with. And sometimes we aren't even looking to make something an idol. I know an idol I have that may seem kind of silly is caffeine. I rely on it and look forward to it way to much. I do look forward to hearing more about what you are studying and how God is working in your heart. Blessings New Friend, Cathryn

Lora said...

The teens and I did this study together and were so blessed. I pray you continue to be blessed as well.