WE OBEY WHO WE WORSHIP: Idolatry in the 21st Century?

As human beings we are created in the 'Imago Dei', meaning in the image of God. This is the most unique aspect of humanity and this separates us from the rest of creation. We were created in the image of God, but we are different from the Creator in that we need to worship. Here's the point: We all worship something, so who or what do you worship? Who or what ultimately influences your daily choices? This would be a great indicator of who you worship. Is it...Money? Job? Cars? Religion? Family? Wife? Husband? Children? Church? Yes, even church! None of these things within themselves are wrong, but if the answer isn't ultimately Jesus than all the things listed become, what the bible calls, idolatry. We obey who or what we worship, so it is critical that we get this right. You are ultimately a slave to your master, so getting your master right is crucial because it dictates how you live your life.

In the book of Genesis God created a place called the, Garden of Eden. In this garden man was to live together in perfect harmony with God. This was what God initially intended for human beings, to walk with them everyday, but our progenitors, Adam and Eve, decided to obey someone else, the serpent. What happened next was what the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Church in Rome, "we exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than Creator..." (Romans 1:25). Man exchanged holiness and perfect relationship for sin and slavery. The consequence is devastating, all human beings have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

A good example of this exchange is seen within the life and ministry of Israel, God's chosen people. All through out the Old Testament the nation of Israel rides the rollercoaster of worship. They would worship Yahweh, then idols, and when things weren't going so good they decided to go back to worshiping Yahweh. They were back and forth, exchanging the truth for a lie, and worshiping creation rather than the Creator. At this point you may be asking, "Well, I don't worship idols, that is antiquated, what does this have to do with me?" I would argue that, no, idolatry is not antiquated, It just looks different in the 21st century.  Anything that replaces the triune God in your life is called idolatry. That person or thing that you listen to the most, that drives your life and influences your daily choices is essentially who or what you worship. We all have done this or are currently doing this right now, exchanging the GREAT truth of God for lies, and putting our hope in created things, rather than the Creator. 

You can't worship who you don't know. Jesus knows this, and its precisely why he came down as a human being to build relationships and teach us how to love and be holy like he is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). The author of Hebrews writes that, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death" (2:14-15). Jesus empathizes with us in our weakness for he was tempted in every way just as we are (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus loves us so much that he left his throne to be enfleshed, that he may be more intimate with his creation and save it from the grip of sin and death. This is the great reversal: our progenitors exchanged, holiness and relationship for sin and slavery, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reversed this taking upon him the sin of the world, so that you and I may live in freedom and have a right relationship with the Father once more. So, I ask the question again, who or what do you obey? 

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” –– Hebrews 3: 7-15