Who is Your Idol/God by: Frances M. Meservy
Who/what do you listen to? Who/what do you take advice from? Who/what do you want to be like? Who/what do you pray to?
Sounds like it does not really matter; but it does. God gave us guidelines in His word and those words are never obsolete or out of date. If a person, idea or thing dictates something other than what God said, we should ignore it. Sometimes we have to chose the lesser of two evils; but most of the time it's just black and white (good or bad).
Who do we listen to? We seem to listen to politicians, actors, actresses, people who are experts in a field, unproven theories, who has the most money or what money can buy etc. more than we listen to God's word. We should compare everything to God's word. His word is the only absolute that we need to make wise choices.
If scripture says nothing about something and the ramifications are not bad (do no harm), then go for it. If scripture says it's wrong, don't do it. If scripture says it's a good thing, do it. That should be our guide. God also guides us with gut feelings (peace versus turmoil), words or pictures in our head yet not our thoughts; but it never contradicts scripture. It all lines up with scripture. Even if someone has a testimony, they should also have scripture that backs it up. Without that scripture you don't know if it's from God or not. You can always look up the scripture yourself.
It is extremely important to know scripture (Holy Bible) for yourself. That means you need to read your Bible for yourself. If you can't read, listen to a CD or tape of the Bible. Not what a preacher or teacher says; but the actual words as written in the book. If you do that, Jesus' Holy Spirit will bring scripture to mind as you listen to what anyone is saying. That scripture He brings to mind will either confirm or contradict what the person is saying. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Man's words means nothing; but God's words mean everything. God's words have power in them; but man's words bring little or no change. God's word brings joy and excitement. It makes you want to shout "Yes, yes!"
The Bible (scripture) is like a giant puzzle. If you think scripture contradicts something else in scripture, you have a missing piece to the puzzle. Search for that missing scripture that completes it. It is there. In some cases it has taken me years to find the missing piece; but I found it by re-reading and studying scripture. You may need a good concordance to find the piece.
You should only listen (adhere to/do/take advice from) someone who is bearing the fruit of the Spirit and uses scripture as their guide to help people. Be very careful who you listen too. If someone gives you advice, go home and look it up in scripture. If there is no love in the advice, just reject it immediately. Remember Love does no harm.
When you are listening to a politician, you may have to decide who will do the least harm and pray that God will show you that answer. No politician should be your idol/god. They are just humans and humans make mistakes.
Do you have someone (cartoon, rock star, actor, actress, person in history, Christian, etc.) that you admire and want to be like? That makes them your idol/god. Study about Jesus in the Bible and try to become like him. Now if you know a Christian who acts like Jesus, but does not claim to be Him, learn from him. But the ultimate goal is to become like Jesus.
If you are listening to someone because they can increase the money in your pocket or things you can buy and scripture does not line up, you are allowing that person to become the voice of money and things. You have an idol: money and things money can buy. You are what God calls thorny ground. It's usually who we refer to in church as a fence sitter. That's a person who thinks or says they are a Christian but are not bearing fruit because of wealth or things they want to buy. Read everything about thorns in scripture. It could wake you up.
Now do not try to root the thorns out of the Church because Jesus said if you do that, it will uproot some of the people who should be there. Leave them there so hopefully they will fall off the fence and become fruit bearers. If they fall into the world and leave the church, it's their decision - not yours. No harm will be done to the Church. Jesus also said "do not sow seeds on thorny ground. Seeds are scripture. So don't go after them to preach to them. Befriend them and be a witness to them by your unconditional love and Christ like actions. God will do the rest.
Believe it or not there are still graven images/idols/gods that people pray to. DO NOT PRAY TO GRAVEN IMAGES! Only pray to God/Jesus.
So as you see the idols of today are very subtle. You may not even be aware that you have one. Pay attention to your life and become aware of your influences. Do you have an idol?
Lev 19:4 'Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.
Lev 26:1 'You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.
Ezek 14:3-8 "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them? "Therefore speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, "that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols."' "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. "For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the LORD will answer him by Myself. "I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
1 Cor 10:13-14 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
Psa 24:4-5 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
1 Sam 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king."
2 Cor 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."
2 Chr 7:13-15 "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.
Isa 57:18-21 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners. "I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near," Says the LORD, "And I will heal him." But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. "There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked."