Our God is jealous over the entirety of our lives as His followers, not just bits and pieces of our body, mind, and heart. It’s easy to think that idols are golden statues located only in fancy temples, but in this episode Leslie shares four common idols in the lives of modern Christian women, and how you can take steps forward to gaining an undivided heart in the midst of the flaunting messages of the culture today.
Simply stated, an idol is anything or anyone that claims a higher position in our hearts and lives than Jesus Christ. While this differs from the images of golden statues we may have envisioned, it clarifies any lingering confusion about idolatry being a danger for Christian women today.
God’s Word makes it clear that our Creator rightfully desires first place in our lives and is jealous to have our full devotion:
I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
Isaiah 42:8 NIV
And Jesus answered and said … “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
What’s wonderful is that the Bible also tells us how to remove idolatry from our lives:
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Psalm 86:11 NIV
Two Questions for Identifying Idols:
- If this area of my life was suddenly stripped away from me, would Jesus be enough?
- Do I find myself saying, “If only I…”?
Two Signs that Something Has Taken an Unhealthy Hold in Your Life:
- You can’t imagine life without it.
- You spend more time and energy on that area of your life than you do with your relationship with Christ.
Idolatry can sneak its way into our lives in subtle ways. Simple intentions can quickly become over-fixations especially in the areas of health, money, and relationships. A good tip is to remember that often the things that have the biggest hold on our hearts are also what is claiming the majority of our spare time.
God is willing to help us take any step of obedience that leads us closer to Himself. He has promised to equip us with the needed grace to regain an undivided heart and can lovingly guide us in how to enjoy life’s simple pleasures in its rightful place.
Four Areas to Prayerfully Search:
Culture pushes us to treat ourselves constantly in the name of “you deserve it.” The danger is not in enjoying these comforts but in letting our physical cravings lead and control us. God asks us to put a harness on our cravings (i.e. food, vacations, lifestyle things, coffee, etc.) so that self-indulgence doesn’t become an idol.
Scriptures to Encourage: Philippians 3:19, 1 Corinthians 9:27
Music, magazines, novels, social media, and professional sports are the most popular hobbies and pastimes … but they also can keep our minds and hearts fastened on the temporal instead of the eternal. Hollywood may try to dazzle our senses, but if the entertainment we are engaging in does not draw us closer to Jesus, it can become dangerous to our souls.
Scriptures to Encourage: 1 John 2:15-17, Psalm 119:37
3. Health, Fitness, & Beauty
At the opposite end of the self-indulgence spectrum is a propensity to place our hope in diet trends, health regimens, and beauty techniques rather than in Jesus Christ. Check your heart to ensure that you haven’t become obsessed or imbalanced with taking care of yourself versus taking care of your walk with God.
Scriptures to Encourage: Proverbs 31:30, 1 Peter 3:3-4
4. Marriage & Family
Even good and perfect gifts, or the desire for the gift of marriage and family, must be submitted to Christ. As Christian women, we must remember that if we ever had to make a choice between God or family, our security and identity needs to come first and foremost from Jesus Christ.
Scriptures to Encourage: Luke 14:26-27
There are many other areas of life that we haven’t mentioned in this episode, prayerfully go before God and ask Him to reveal any areas in which Jesus is not getting the glory due His name. He will be more than faithful to alert you to areas that need to be remade so that He is truly magnified.