Little Children, guard yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21
These are the concluding words from the letter the Apostle John wrote to the beloved church. Perhaps, like me, you are tempted to gloss over that verse thinking, I know better than to worship idols. While it is understandable the early church needed to be warned and be watchful of the influence idols can have on one’s life, what about us?
Although a huge statue made of stone (Artemis of Ephesus is pictured here) is unlikely to sway our devotion away from God, how about pursing the job of our dreams, an advanced degree, a bigger bank account, followers on social media, a certain weight, or the desire to avoid pain?
Maybe we think, if it isn’t what God wants for me, He will stop me. Maybe but perhaps not. The psalmist wrote, “And he (God) gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:15. What a high cost if obtaining our desires means we will spiritually wither.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord spoke saying, “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Yes, we are so much more sophisticated than those ancients who put their trust in stone gods, but we are guilty of carving out our own sources of provision and fulfillment apart from God. If there is anything other than Jesus we believe will bring satisfaction and contentment to our lives, we are falling under the influence of idols by accepting a substitute for His living waters.