For most born again believers, this would be a stupid question, right? But then what if I asked the question, ‘what is idolatry?’ What would your response be? Would you struggle with your answer or would it be cut and dried? Do you have this one down pat? Do you feel not guilty here because you don’t have physical idols of Buddha, or Baal, or a Sun god of some type in your home? Because of recent revelation from Holy Spirit revealing idolatry in my own life, I caution you not to disregard this subject! This sin may not be as evident as you think!
I’m blessed to be reading Grace ~ Orphans No More, by Dr. James E. Johnson. Although I’m not finished with this writing yet, based on what I’ve read I highly recommend this book! While reading, I got to a section where he was talking about the focus of our life. Is our focus for living horizontal or vertical? Obviously horizontal represents the world and all of its entanglements and vertical represents God. As I read along in this section, I had a wonderful “gotcha moment”! It revolves around our recent 40 year anniversary of the day Father gave us our vision and calling for ministry. That date was February 10, 1980. Since that 40th anniversary I found myself angry and offended that 40 years of our lives have come and gone and Father’s promises and calling have not yet manifested! I felt like the jackass pulling the cart chasing the carrot held just out of reach! In my anger and grumbling, I declared would no longer be that jackass! I’m not chasing that carrot any longer! So there!
When Holy Spirit invaded my space, I immediately saw my sin! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You, Holy Spirit! So who was I offended with? Who was I angry at? Father, of course! So if I am willing to be angry at Father because the vision has not come to pass, it indicates that the vision, my calling, and my purpose were more important than my relationship with Father! My friend that is idolatry! That is living horizontally rather than vertically! The Holy Spirit rescued me from myself once again and Father was faithful and gracious to hear and accept my repentance and restore me to His Presence!
So I am obligated again to ask ‘what is idolatry?’ Obviously you can see how important this issue can be to each of us, can’t you? Our sin separates us from God so discovery is essential to our opportunity to repent and receive Father’s forgiveness and deepen our commitment to Him and deepen our relationship with Him. So in searching out our understanding of idolatry maybe you should consider my testimony. Are you now or have you ever been angry with God about anything? If so, consider the possibility this is evidence of idolatry at work! Are you struggling with your relationship with God? It would be wise to consider if sin is the culprit, even idolatry! Is your focus in life vertical or horizontal? Is there anything or anyone more important to you than God. Is your religion, your denomination, your church more important to you than your relationship with God? How about your career, your calling from God, your family, your possessions, your success, your dreams, your performance for God, even your Bible! Do you get it? Nothing on this earth should be more important to us than our relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The only way that can happen is by developing our own personal, intimate, conversational relationship with the Trinity! Being born again is not enough! Being Spirit filled is not enough! Moving in the gifts of the Spirit is not enough! Surrendering to full time ministry is not enough! Spending your life learning about God is not enough! As we have written many times “Jesus is the way, but Father must be our destination.” Intimacy with Him is beyond explanation! It must be experienced by each of us, His children. We have a place of honor already prepared for each of us and it is eternal. Everything the world offers is only temporary and can never fulfill the desires of the human heart because Father designed us that way! You will never accomplish in the flesh what Father designed to be satisfied in the Spirit and He is Spirit!