Friday, June 13, 2014

Passions or Idols?

Baseball.

Basketball.

Horses.

My family.

Financial stability.

Reading.

Passions or idols?

How do you tell the difference?

Sometimes I give the ancient Israelites a tough time.  I mean how hard could it be to let go of the golden calf and just trust God?!?  Seriously???  Why was it that every time they turned around they had a new idol they were worshiping, a new something or other that they were convinced would make their life better, easier, more fulfilled.

It wasn't that they didn't believe in God or didn't worship God, they just really wanted to worship these other gods too.  Maybe it was so they could be like the people around them, maybe it was so they could keep their options open.  I don't know why they kept turning to other gods, I just know they did.

Boy, am I glad I'm not like them! (read really thick sarcasm here).  The thing is, I am JUST like the ancient Israelites.  I believe in God, I love God, I worship God.  I also love a lot of other things.  My question is are they passions or are they idols?

Passions are things that you love to do and find fulfillment in doing.  They are pleasing to God and in alignment with what he desires for you.  You spend time doing them, but they do not take time or attention away from your relationship with God.  

Idols on the other hand, may have started out as a good thing but they quickly took over your life.  You love the idol and think you might find fulfillment in the idol, but ultimately you won't, because the idol will never be enough.  It will constantly leave you craving more, never filling you up.  It will eventually take your time and attention away from God.  It will damage your relationship with God. 

There are things in my life that are simply passions, but if I am being truly honest, I have a couple of idols I need to get rid of too.  

The idols we face today may be different than the ones the Israelites faced thousands of years ago, but don't be deceived.  We still face idols today, every one of us.  And God is pretty clear about what he thinks about idols.  

He hates them.  He won't stand for them.  And those who worship them will ultimately be possessed by them. 

God loves you.  He will let you worship whomever and whatever you choose.  I encourage you to choose wisely.  

Don't let your passions become your idols.