Therefore, speak to them, and say to them, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.’ “
The move from middle school to high school would be huge for her, so she asked her older sister for advice and guidance navigating the new environment. Her sister gave her tips on which classes to take and which ones to skip. She told her which teachers to avoid and who would be more likely to hand out an easy A. Her sister also told her which teacher was her mentor and her idol. She decided to take more than one class with that teacher during her freshman year, but her experience with him was very different than expected. As the year progressed, she realized that her sister viewed this man in a way much different than he was. For reasons all her own, she had made him someone he was not, and that imagined man is who she admired.
There is no single way by which idolatry manifests itself. The act of idol worship can happen 1,000 different ways, and that is what makes it so tricky. Sometimes we are so close to worshiping the one true God, but even the slightest willful deviation from who He truly is will turn our adoration into idolatry. When idol worship is blatant, when someone clearly follows a false god or anti-Christian ideology, we have no problem identifying that. However, the wolves who walk around in sheep’s clothing among us can be much subtler in their false teachings. In the same manner, we can twist and tweak the characteristics of the God who resides in our hearts and make him someone He is not. When we do that and begin to worship that new god, we are participating in idol worship.
Our Father in heaven wants us to put to death all the ideas we have of him which are simply false. He wants us to stop changing him to fit our desires or to make him more comfortable for us to accept and less offensive to share with others. Oh, that mankind would think they can build a better God! He already is perfection, and no wise one among us would want to change the One who has made our salvation real. We must strike down those ideas at their inception. God is looking for those who worship in spirit and in truth, which requires that they worship the one true God as He is. Anything less is unsatisfactory and unholy. Father, help us put to death the false notions we have of You, and give us fresh revelation of who and what You are.