For me, my idols are like coffee. When I had my first ever coffee it was like a dessert, sweet, chocolatey and kept me hyped (it was a mocha at Zaraffas). Then slowly but surely I moved on to stronger, more bitter, darker brews. Desserts just didn’t do it for me anymore. Soon I found myself finding exotic ways to brew my drop. I wasn’t content anymore with a simple flatty from Starbucks or even from the more boutique cafes that do speciality coffee. Now I use cold drip towers and Chemix’s and unless somebody stops me I’m probably going to be drinking coffee that comes out of the butt of a Civet (Google it, it’s a thing). The relentless pursuit of the perfect, satisfying cup of hot steaming caffeinated marshmallow liquid that spills forth from the divine is unending and has probably cost me thousands of dollars over the years. This single endeavour though fun (everyone needs a hobby right?) has left me ultimately unfulfilled never truly being satisfied with whatever it is I’m drinking. Bam, what a perfect analogy for idolatry.
Immediately my mind now flicks through dozens of passages and stories in Scripture that talk about this (Adam and Eve for a start). Even if you hate coffee (you heathen) think about that one thing you spend the most money on, the most time thinking about, the most time given to, that’s probably what you love most in this world, it is probably what you worship, it is probably your idol, your god. Let me be blunt. Idols are bad. They’re not really stone statues in your garden tempting you into yoga or asking for a blood sacrifice… idols are the things that rule over your life, your very soul. Idols rule over you, you give them power and in turn, you hope to receive some benefit usually peace or prosperity … even life. The irony is the very things that God intended to give your life shape and joy actually now suck it out of you, they leave you high and dry, they leave you unfulfilled, depressed, and ultimately they lead to spiritual death.
For me personally, idolatry, the worship of other gods have been the eternal war being waged over my soul. It feels like every time I look to something to satisfy me I lose apart of who I am (or at least of who I’m supposed to be), I change, I’m always different. Idolatry has always lead me down a darker path of uncertainty always looking for another path, another fix to warm my longing heart and to quench my thirsty soul (Prov 4:23; Jer 2:13). There is, however, a lasting fix, a lasting quench, a lasting path that leads to life. Jesus says in John’s Gospel “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jhn 4:14). For those who are lost in their idols, Jesus offers us a way out if only we come and depend on Him if only we look to Him for true and lasting life and satisfaction.