“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
Is idolatry creeping in or have I just become aware of it? I think I’ve just become aware of it. Isn’t that how it always is? The idolatry has to do with the desire of my heart–a desire that I am convinced God birthed. So that is a good thing, right? It is of him. However, when I start to try to control how and when it comes about (in an unhealthy sort of way I mean), when my mood is determined by whether or not I perceive progress to be taking place, that is a red flag indicating it is becoming an idol. The good thing is stealing my time and attention and joy because it is not materializing at the rate at which I desire. Is it stealing my love of God? Is it becoming a love? Am I loving the gift more than the giver? Well, the fact that progress or lack of progress is controlling my moods means something is seriously wrong. Idolatry lurks. I should not be controlled by my ambition, a godly ambition at that, I need to be controlled by God. How cunning is Satan, how cunning are my own desires and ways. Idolatry can be clothed as an angel of light. In fact, it most often is. We may not bow down to an image, but we may bow to circumstances. Bowing to circumstances and even godly ambitions, instead of God, is idolatry. Think of pastors who neglect their families for church or even someone who is a workaholic, doing good things for everyone else save her or his own family.
So daily, sometimes momentarily, I have to check myself or rather stand before God so that his holy light can penetrate the darkness residing within me. I must love him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I have to obey, lest in enouraging others to follow Christ, I myself become disqualified in the race. It is a scary thought and real possibility in me and in all of us.
I have asked him what he wants me to do. I believe he is in the process of answering.
Let none of us think we are incapable of idolatry. It’s when we’re following God whole-heartedly that we can be most tempted–just like Jesus in the desert.