But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. Ps. 115:4-8 (emphasis mine)
Modern day idols are more attractive than their ancient counterparts, offering what feels like excitement and happiness on the front end. But there’s a trap when we begin to trust in them. It’s called addiction. When you try to separate, you realize that you have to walk away from the so-called fulfillment the idol gave you. The subsequent struggle will be in connecting with the seemingly less exciting aspects of satisfaction offered by God. You will also find that your senses have grown dull, having taken on the lifeless attributes of the idol.
Sexual idols only come alive through fantasy. As we read earlier, when you trust in idols, you will be like them. Thus when the residue of a sexual idol is on you in the marriage bedroom, the filter through which you perceive your spouse is skewed. Your senses are compromised. An exchange has been made. Trading for the currency of the world’s corrupt system of sexuality, makes one bereft of the true sexual fulfillment intended by God.
Practically speaking, no wife can come close to the woman the husband was relating to in fantasy. No husband can match the idealized man the wife has fallen in love with on that sitcom or romance novel. It’s a deadly trap. Idols and addictions only offer at best, a “fabricated fulfillment.”
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Tim.6:10
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Tim. 6:6-8
When the love of money is the filter through which you see, contentment will be hard to come by. Monetary idols and addictions will dull your senses from enjoying the blessings that you DO have.
Here’s the deception: I will really be a person of relevance when my platform increases, or when I’m invited into the “in” crowd. Being overly focused on relevance and influence, I will deem lesser accomplishments or even non-strategic relationships as not worth the investment of my time and resources. My senses may become dull and miserly towards those who have no power by which to elevate my status.
Remember, idols take; they don’t give. They neutralize us, dull our senses. When my life only comes alive through the filter of an idol, I’m an addict. The bad news about my “idolatrous sources” – every idol will eventually rust and decay.
It’s defined as “the value of one currency for the purpose of conversion to another.” Perhaps the most shocking and senseless exchange ever transacted, is found in the Bible verses below.
For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made]…For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles. Rom. 1:20-23 (emphasis mine)
Foretaste of the Future
Every follower of Jesus is headed for a destination and status where perishable idols and addictions will be non-existent. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Cor. 15:54-55 But as we journey towards that ultimate end, there is an opportunity for victory in the here and now.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Ps. 119:9,11
The Living Word, living in us, will keep us from straying into other sources that we think are life giving but really are not. Let’s come to our senses and remember how the journey began. Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever. 1 Pet. 1:23
NOTE: We have produced a two part mini series on this topic. Part One is available on our YouTube channel.