It’s not that simple.
Let’s see what the Bible has to say about breaking free from idolatry.
Idolatry in the Bible
1. Flee Idolatry.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:14 to flee idolatry.
Sometimes we can give our idols up altogether, but what if our idols are our kids or our spouses?
In those cases we’ll need to work on fleeing mentally–loving them, but also holding them with open hands, not feeling like we have to have them–or have to have them be a certain way–in order for us to be happy.
Journal Activity: Think of your own idol tendencies. Can you flee them in a physical sense–completely giving them up? If not–or if it it’s something like ministry and you think God wants you to continue on in it–what can you do to put it in it’s rightful place? Brainstorm some ideas and come up with a plan.
2. Turn to God—not to another idol.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:9, Paul commends the Thessalonians for turning from their idols to serve the living and true God. Too often, we turn from our idols, only to serve different idols.
We give up eating for exercising. Laziness for workaholism. Sin for ministry. Self-pleasing for people pleasing. Perfectionism for perfect Christianism.
Those activities don’t look like idols, but if we’re consistently turning to them for comfort, protection, fulfillment, and deliverance from life’s problems, they’re probably idols. (Isaiah 44:17)
3. Walk by the Spirit
One of the incredible things about God is that He doesn’t stand up there and say, “You shape up right now this very instant. The next time I see you I want to see perfection.”
Journal Activity: Like the Israelites, we often turn to our idols when things get rough. Read Galatians 5:16-25. What’s the difference between walking in the Spirit and walking in the flesh in those situations? What does walking by the Spirit look like?
4. Remove the high places.
If you look at the Old Testament, they were told to not just remove the idols, but also the high places where they went to worship the idols. We can do this by setting boundaries. I’ll talk about that in my next post.
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Discussion Question: Do you think idolatry is accepted in the church today?
Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev at FreeDigitalPhotos.net