If someone asked me who or what I serve, of course I'd want to say, "God." I think they call that the "Sunday school answer": The answer you know is right but is not necessarily true when you look at your life. I was listening to a sermon by Wes Crawford from Redeemer Fellowship on Worship as I drove back to Manhattan and I was confronted with these questions: Do I have idols in my life? Am I worshiping creation rather than the Creator? Is there anything in this world that if it were lacking might cause me to decide I can no longer be happy or life is not worth living?
We see idols of acceptance and control and worry and we become tolerant. It's okay for us to buy excessive amounts of clothing because we just want people to like us, and that's socially acceptable. Right? I think the sin that can often be the most dangerous is that which is socially acceptable, that which society looks at and excuses or justifies. Sometimes, they call it a disorder, as if putting that label on it will suddenly make it excusable. Now it's not your fault. Does this give you hope? Sin and idols have power by virtue of the satisfaction or justification they promise. They can't deliver on that promise but our belief that they can is what keeps us coming back to them over and over again. Apart from Christ, we are enslaved to these idols.
How do you know what your idols are? Try asking yourself these questions. Be honest.
What do I worry about most?Answer these questions and you will have found your god.
What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?
What do I rely on or comfort myself with when things go bad or get difficult?
What do I do to cope?
What are my release valves?
What do I think most easily about?
What does my mind go to when I am free?
What do I daydream about?
What makes me feel the most self-worth?
What am I the proudest of?
What do I want to be known for?
What do I really want and expect out of life?
What would make me really happy?
What is my hope for the future?
How do I spend my time?
How do I spend my money?
What makes me angry?
What circumstances are so important in my life than I cannot be happy without them?
The gospel frees us from idolatry. I won't outline the whole sermon, but check it out for yourself here.
1 John 5:19-21
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true- even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourself from idols.