Have you hugged your idol today? Really, have you hugged your idol today? I’m not asking if you hugged a block of wood carved to look like a flying reptile or your favorite movie or rock star. It’s the real idols each of us has without realizing.
The “idol” I am speaking of is anything that promises you deliverance while masking bondage. Your idols may be alcohol, drugs, pornography, affairs, emotional eating, status, the demand for the feeling of happiness at all costs, and many more. All these idols will offer and deliver “satisfaction” but it is only a momentary surface soothing of a deeper pain. Any soothing effects are short-lived and side effects extremely severe. Your idol now is demanding your devotion and sacrifice. You are not controlling it; it’s controlling you.
What’s worse is how difficult it is to rid yourself of your idol, mainly because of how great an illusionist your idol is. Don’t get me wrong; it’s fun to be entertained by a good illusionist, but it’s disastrous to navigate your life through one. The goal of an illusionist is to have you question the reality of what you just experienced. Whether it’s a rabbit appearing from a hat or more complex illusion such as making an elephant disappear onstage, one’s sense of reality for that moment is suspended. You know the elephant could not have disappeared, and yet it’s gone! You may even begin to question whether the elephant was there to begin with!
However, once you are made aware of what’s behind the veil, the illusion is uncovered and reality is restored. It’s the same way with life’s idols and their illusions. You see, God has set down a path (Bible) and has given a guide (Holy Spirit) to aid us in this journey from illusion to truth. The road to freedom begins with identifying your idols and changing your mind about your idol’s intention. Once the veil is lifted the illusion is over. You now understand that going to that pint of ice cream will not ultimately ease your emotional pain, but only add to it.
But knowledge is just the beginning. Remember, you’ve been experiencing a relationship with the idol for a long time. You must begin to walk in truth, not the illusion. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22-23). This may mean walking away from the bar, false lovers, frozen food section, or false power. It means walking toward grace and love, together with new patterns of thinking and living that are not easy at first, but are exciting. And you will need the backing of others who also are committed to this freedom walk.
Hang in there, the joy of freedom is well worth the journey. My prayer for you today is that God reveals any idol in your life and you start the journey to true freedom.