What idols do you allow to become prominent over your relationship with God? Do you seek acceptance from others, rather than finding your identity in Him? Do you yearn for that person to satisfy you? Do you purchase that item to make you appear more successful?
In today’s society it can be incredibly difficult to focus on God and not allow the temptations and distractions of this world to pull us away from what truly matters. I know I momentarily fall prey to Satan’s schemes and focus on everything but truly matters. To get started, let’s look at 4 common idols that we can allow to dominate God’s place in our lives…
Do you find your worth in how others see you? Do you focus on how you appear, more than who you are inside?
Society has allowed us to become so focused on who others perceive us to be that we fail to remember who we truly are in Christ. We grow discouraged when we fall short of perfection. We beat ourselves up when we can’t meet that expectation. We do everything within our power to have a flawless appearance. We focus on everything external, instead of looking within, at our heart.
Our identity isn’t found in the achievements we’ve attained, flawless appearance we possess, our relationship status, or who others perceive us to be. Our identity is found in Christ. As Christians, we are God’s children. We don’t have to achieve, change ourselves or expect perfection. All God desires from us is to seek and serve Him with our heart.
- Do you find your worth in anything other than your identity as God’s child?
- Do you look for something to meet your needs over God?
1 Samuel 16:7
Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
Your Finances & Possessions
What items do you long after? Do you find yourself longing for more? Do you think by owning that item, it will make you happy or appear successful? Do you consistently feel the need to earn more for financial security?
Materialism is sadly one of those areas we are slammed with daily. Whether it be scanning through social media or watching tv, advertisements bombard us daily with things stealing our attention away from what truly matters. We think by buying that article of clothing we’ll feel more confident. We buy into the lie that owning that vehicle will make us appear more successful. We seek after things that we think will fill the empty longing in us for approval and success, only to be left with the same longing that never seems to be met.
Materialism is something that is costly. When we allow materialism to become an idol in our lives it steals more than just our money, it steals our heart away from God.
- What do you spend your money on? It is to improve your standing or improve your heart?
- Do you have trouble submitting your finances over to God?
- If you couldn’t have that item, would you become angry?
- What do you typically purchase, thinking it will satisfy?
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
God uses relationships to help encourage and strengthen us, but sometimes relationships can grow to become more influential to us than God. When you find yourself in a predicament, do you tend to go to a friend first, rather than seeking God first in prayer? Do you rely on others more than you rely on God? Do you crave other’s approval more than you do God’s? Do you prioritize your relationships over God?
While relationships can be helpful, encouraging and beneficial to us, we shouldn’t allow them to ever dominate our relationship with God. We can still have healthy relationships, with God the focus of our lives.
- Who do you desire to please the most?
- Is there a relationship that pushes or pulls you farther away from God?
- Do you look for someone to meet your needs more than God?
- Who do you fear losing?
What you do with the time you have says a lot about your character. Many of us have interests, hobbies and obsessions. While there definitely is nothing wrong with occupying our time with things we enjoy, they shouldn’t become priority over God in our lives. Sometimes our interests can become so dominating that we find our enjoyment in them rather than remembering the true purpose God has us here on earth. Time is something we each have been given, please take a moment to ensure you are using yours wisely with the correct motivation, not seeking approval or for selfish reasons.
- What tends to occupy most of your time?
- Are the things you do to please others, please yourself or to please God?
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Take a few minutes to ponder each of these four idols and spend time in prayer asking God to reveal any idols to you that you’ve allowed to become prominent over His place in your heart. Ask Him for guidance in how to restore Him as priority in your life.
4 steps to eliminate idols, placing God first:
- Find your worth in God alone, not seeking the approval of others
- Entrust your finances to God, knowing He will provide exactly what you need
- Hold onto the truth that nothing will satisfy like God
- Set aside time to spend with God, without interruptions