As Christians it is easy for us to boldly say we do not worship idols and this is very true because we mostly relate this to physical statues, objects or precious items that can be seen. We are also aware that anything we place in high esteem above God or takes priority over God in our lives has become an idol in our lives. However there is a hidden form of idolatry that can be missed. A few weeks ago, I was pondering on this scripture:
" Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things" - Philippians 4:8.
I somehow got stuck on the truth bit. So I started to question myself about the truth. What is true and what is the truth? God's word is true because it never changes. The word true in itself means something accurate or exact without variation. To speak the truth also means to verbalise a fact or belief that is accepted as true. It became quite clear in my head that once you move away from any accurate information then it is no longer true. There can only be one true version of anything.
When companies design a product, they put a mark on it and put their stamp on it. Anything other than the original product is fake and is not a product of the designer. Such copies are made to either suite customers who want to pay less or for a greedy seller who wants to make more money. The motives for trying to recreate the product would always be wrong. Same is true for the word of God, it is very easy to try and please the world around us that we end up moving away from the truth. We sometimes become too confident in our spiritual walk that we share our own thoughts. Questions on my mind were...
Why do Christians try to respond to certain questions about their faith in a variable way to make it more acceptable to 'others' even though we were cautioned?
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.".
If we are adjusting God's word to make it convenient then we are conforming to the patterns of the world and cannot be operating in his good and perfect will for ourselves or anyone we called to. The bible says in John 1:1 that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God".
If we have erred from the word, we are no longer speaking about the same Alpha and Omega because He is His Word! If the word is not exact then we are talking about a different god. What are we then doing because our primary purpose is to lead people to Christ? It became scary at this point because one truth was clear, if we are not speaking his accurate word, then we are speaking about a different god and leading people to an idol. Are we guilty of idolatry? Idolatry, in this sense, means varying the truth of God for the aim of man. Ezekiel 14:3 "Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts..."
If what we are sharing with others about God is a variation to scripture then we have created a god of our own liking. This God would have been created according to our own intention or other people's pleasure.
Colossians 3:5 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry."
The human heart has the power to create and recreate and God has warned us in so many ways. "Guard your heart with all diligence, issues of life flow from it" "As a man thinks in his heart so is he" If you're having thoughts different from the exact word of God concerning any issue of life, I ask again, are you an idol worshipper? If we truly want to serve and worship the one God that there is then we need to dig deep into his true word. He is the sovereign lord and there is none like him. We cannot know his truth unless He tells us, we cannot guess it and we cannot know it all because He is the only one that is 'all knowing'. We need to ask him concerning every matter. My heart's cry today is that we would not speak about a god the world wants to hear about but we would speak of the God who was, is and is to come. When in doubt about what we are about to say, let us humbly ask God... Dear God, I know what I perceive about this issue, but it is not my thoughts or my ways but your will that matters, please speak as I am ready to listen and obey. I choose not to take pride in my own way. Finally, If you have shared the wrong thing with someone in the past and the Holy Spirit ministers to you or brings it to remembrance, do not let pride or ego get in the way, go back and correct your mistake. Do not idolise pride. Serving God in spirit and in truth is truly a humbling experience. Do not let others who see you as a Disciple follow a god that is not "The one and only true God" He is his word and his word Is He. I Pray this comes alive in your spirit as it did mine. Toyin Akinfolarin