S61P2 – From these shall we run: idolatry

1 Cor. 10:13-14

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

It started out innocently enough.  He had found the right girl for him, and he was in love.  Before long his desire to accommodate and please her began to change into his bowing at her every whim without exception.  Always going to the movies she wanted to see and never the ones he chose did not seem to bother him, although others certainly noticed the subtle pattern progressing.  Her possession of him began to manifest in his not being permitted to maintain certain friendships and family relationships.  Eventually, he was restricted even from spending time with the Lord he loved.  Others tried to tell him he had made an idol out of what he thought was love, but he would shun them and tell them they simply did not understand how much he needed that woman who was perfect for him.

The sad truth is that it is all too common among humankind for us to build our own altars to the Gods we invent.  This is not some new kind of temptation, and it certainly is not one to which others cannot relate. We all go through this temptation because the enemy desperately wants us to worship anything and anyone other than the one true God. It does not matter what we put in his place, we forgo the opportunity to spend eternity with our Father in heaven when we replace him with someone or something else.  However, this warning to flee from idolatry comes with a comforting promise.  Regardless of how strong the temptation might feel we are always able to withstand it through the power God gives us.

Some idols are clearly depicted as other gods.  They have faces, names, histories and supposed powers.  Other idols fill the role in a much subtler manner.  They masquerade as love or devotion, but they are really no different than their more obvious counterparts.  We must ask ourselves whether we have placed something in the highest position of our lives other than God.  Regardless of how good that thing or person might be, it simply cannot be permitted to occupy that place.  Nothing and no one is entitled to the worship that only God deserves.  We must be purposeful in harnessing the power that He gives us to resist entertaining idols.  Father, thank You for always making a way of escape from even the most powerful temptations, and give us wisdom to recognize our idols for what they are.