There was a group of men who came to the prophet, because they wanted him to inquire of the Lord for them. The Lord spoke to the man of God, and told him who they really were. He said that they were full of idolatry; they “set up their idols in their heart.” They seemed to have a stumbling block; idols of gold and silver. One translation said that their idols were self-will and unsubmissiveness. Nonetheless, it made God angry that they had the nerve to seek Him, with such things in their heart (Ezekiel 14).
It was only on Facebook, that I ever heard someone state that we could make idols out of our religion. That minister went on to say, that it seemed obvious that some had made idols of some in leadership. I’m sure the reason it was only said on Facebook, was because he would never have gotten away with saying it openly to any group he was affiliated with. I had never heard anyone speak that openly in any assembly I ever attended. It was a real healing for many to hear someone dare speak such truth publicly. We have always thought of idols as those which are carved out of wood or stone; even bronze and other materials. But idols in the heart?
It might do us well to search the definition of idolatry. One definition says, to regard with blind admiration or devotion; excessive adoration. Another many of us can relate to is, to drool over; that sounds a bit common, but it does fit somehow. There is only One, who should have that kind of worship or adoration; that one is God. Placing people on high pedestals, whether it be in religious circles or national or local concerns, almost always gives cause for that person to be more lifted up than they should be. Something did strike home to me about the term “blind admiration.” This, whether many will be offended or not, is part of worshipping the creature, more than the creator. Anything that gets more attention than God, is likely an idol.
I’m stepping lightly here, as some might can tell. But it’s no secret today that some folk are making idols out of certain ministers and their ministries. Our buildings, our musical instruments, our light/sound equipment, and even our singers, can become idols. How do we know? Because of the way some people act who have them. These things become much more important than following the leading of the Spirit! God told Ezekiel, that He would destroy these men, and their idols. God said that if they came before a prophet who did not stand against them, He would deceive the prophet; the words the people heard, would not be from Him. God was offended.
In Exodus 20:3, The Word spoke and said, “You shall have no other gods before me.” I do believe, that includes anything that means more to us than God. Most of us will flat deny any reference to what we spend the most time with. I’ll catch it for this, but because of the spirit behind it, our technological devices have become a kind of idol. It’s likely, that too many spend much more time with them, then they do the people around them; much less with God. We will mortgage everything we have, to have what other people have. We’ll stay in debt the rest of our lives, to have material things; often things we don’t have to have or could live without. It’s in our heart.