We live in a world that works overtime to stand in the way of our calling in an effort to derail what God is doing in each and every one of our lives. Something I read recently[i] encapsulates my concerns quite well.
Keep your eyes peeled for the strategies the enemy is using in his goal to impede our faith.
Here are a few common idols that may deserve attention:
- Our Own Understanding—We often lose our focus on the Father when we don’t fully understand what’s happening, so we repeatedly analyze our situations, scrutinizing them incessantly from every angle we can conceive. When events don’t proceed the way we expect, we’re left discouraged and disillusioned. Don’t fall into this trap. God unmistakably commands you to trust Him and not to rely on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6).
- A Sense of Security—We don’t like being out of control or trusting our future to Someone we don’t see. We prefer a steady stream of income, reliable resources, and predictable results. So when we’re forced to wait, watch our bills pile up, or encounter threats that challenge our sense of wellbeing, our insecurity breeds a dangerous distrust of the Father.
- Goals and Dreams—We become so driven to achieve our objectives and daily goals that we forget the eternal life we’ve been given (John 17:3) and all the good things the Lord has purposed for us to accomplish. Our dreams become an idol that are more important than what the Father desires to do in and through us.
- Relationships—Certain relationships in our lives can become idols. No matter how much you attempt to focus on the Father, your attention returns to this person or group of people. Feelings of rejection, fear, lack of self-worth, or bitterness continue to arise because of your circumstances—and ultimately they drive you away from God, not toward Him.
- The Past—Past relationships can become impediments in our relationship with God. When terrible things happen, the human response is to wonder why the Father allowed us to suffer. And when other people hurt us, when we harbor unforgiveness, or when we allow the unkind treatment from others to shape how we see the Father, these can become idols in our lives, undermining our faith in Him as we wait.
- Hobbies—Our hobbies and preferred forms of entertainment might also be competing with our relationship with and faith in God. Though pastimes such as sports, shopping, television, exercise, social media, and other interests aren’t necessarily wrong in themselves, if they have more of your attention than the Lord does, then there’s certainly a problem.
Remember that releasing everything to the Lord will yield a multitude in return. The seemingly innocent things in life can become idols if we let them. If we bow to the desires that are driven by these idols. You’ve heard the term, everything in moderation. There’s sense in not pursuing things of this world in an effort to have core longings met in something other than an intimate relationship with God.
And that’s the memo.
[i] Waiting on God Bible Plan by Charles Stanley – YouVersion App