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Idol worship in the 21st century: Alarming facts every believer needs to know

21st century idol worship

A modern-day idol is far from the graven images of old. The danger of these is that, if you are not conscious of this fact, you may be drawn into idolatry without knowing it. Although at some point we recognize the tell-tale signs, we do nothing about it. Instead, we push to ‘fix’ our relationship with God whilst still maintaining a healthy relationship with these idols.

We intentionally invest in the very same relationship that caused us to drift away from God in the first place. We look for books and attend seminars, and webinars all at the expense of our faith. ‘What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?’ Mark 8:36-37. What have you traded God for?

What really is an idol?

An idol is anything that shifts our focus from God and takes His place in our lives. It is something we may obsess over, and have an overwhelming affection or reverence for. Idols mimic what God offers without fully satisfying. This can be in the form of a person/ relationship, an activity, or even a goal. Time spent in idol pursuit leaves us with little or no time for God.

The thing about modern idols is the intention or place of origin may be pure, however slowly, unexpectedly it starts to creep into your heart, and replace God. A simple pursuit of success can easily turn into an obsession that demands our resources, time, and love.

Simply put I call it, a blessing becoming a curse. There are many areas in our lives that have our attention when they should not. We ultimately get to a place where we ‘fit’ God into our schedules. We, a people foreknown by God before the beginning of time ‘make’ time for the author of time, an eternal God. It’s crazy, I tell you.

Idolatry in the church

‘“I know all the things you do and have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not and have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! You have lost your first love. Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. ‘ Revelation 2:2-5.

The church is not spared in this nature of worship. A body you would expect to set the standard of true worship has been corrupted by the systems of men such that spiritual practices have become routine, with very little understanding to back it up. We see in some churches cum cults where the church leader gets the glory as a mascaraed ‘reverence’ of Gods called. It’s absurd! The focus has shifted from the blesser to the blessing; prosperity, miracles, signs, and wonders. The charisma of the prophetic movement and healing ministries have seen multitudes of people going after the miracles, signs, and wonders so that the focus is no longer on Jesus.

Believers are pursuing miracles at the expense of the word, prosperity at the expense of spiritual growth, and signs, and wonders at the expense of foundational trues. What good is it to learn principles on wealth moving in the prophetic gift when one is perishing? Some believers even idolize their own pastors and leaders in the church to the extent that they lose all fear and reverence for God. They deem themselves stronger than God. There is a clear distinction between honor and worship of man.

Four idols you may be tolerating without even knowing it

‘For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; cruel and hate what is good; betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!’ 2 Timothy 3:1-5

God warned us of this, and it’s happening now. He also hinted to us some of the many areas in which we sin as a result of idolatry have arisen in our lives.

1. Relationships

‘I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. ‘ Romans 16:17-18

God has echoed this several times before and I will reiterate it until it goes viral. Sometimes the only breakthrough you need is a breakup. We have created prison cells for ourselves that are hedged by attachments we have with other people. We are a reflection of those we keep around us. Jesus gives us an example, out of the twelve disciples, he had three who were in His inner circle, and out of those three, was one we are told was closest to Him. Do not let a spouse, friend, colleague, child, parent, or any other person, replace the person of the Holy Spirit in your life.

2. Money/ Prosperity/ Power

‘But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. ‘ 1 Timothy 6:9-10

Wealth and riches are not themselves a problem, God gives us the ability to get wealth. It is actually his will and desire for us that we prosper in all things 3 John 1:2. However, we live in a world that champions chasing money and wealth at all costs. The number of people who have lost their lives as a result of this pursuit is outstanding. The despicable things men and women have done just to acquire it are unfathomable. How has your pursuit of money or your desire to be rich caused you to wander away from God?

3. Career/Job

‘Why spend …. your labor on what does not satisfy? ‘ Isaiah 55:2

Many of our jobs have taken so much time from us that we do miss church on Sundays. One may argue and say, they might not be going to church but they are still having quiet time with the Lord. My question is if you would be honest with yourself, is this true? Some are going to great lengths to climb the corporate ladder that all morality is lost.

4. Self

The term ‘selfie’ is reflective of an obsession people have with themselves. Whilst others portray a life that is not theirs on social media, we see a race of a counterfeit identity where people are out to beat each other at being everything else except our true selves. This delusion is one of many strategies of the enemy.

Now what?

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger.

It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.’ Colossians 3:5-8

The instruction is very clear, REPENT! It’s time to hit a reset button on your life. Our priorities are misplaced and we need to audit our lives. What’s taking all the attention, affection and resources in our lives? is it a job or career, a relationship, or a business? What has stopped you from growing spiritually? What if your life has overwhelmed you to the point that you do it all day, every day, it fills up your day?

But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.’ Colossians 3:8

Someone needs to fight this demon, but they need to hear this first. Share with a friend

1 thought on “Idol worship in the 21st century: Alarming facts every believer needs to know”

  1. Wowo so true this message it makes me check what i have idolised over my worship to God. IT calls for self introspection.

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