Yes... People are made to love... But they should not become an idol... How do we know if someone is an idol to us??? What are the things need to be ordered in mu heart to smash the human idols in my life???? If we love God more, We will love others better... God is fiercely loves you...
People are made to Love.
I think there is one thing that every single one of us can agree on, No matter what our belief is. I don't know how you coming to this today, whether you're a Christian or you're a Atheist, Whether you're young or old, I don't know what your story is... I think there's one think we can all agree and that's "People are made to Love".
You don't have to believe in God to believe in Love.
It's part of how we designed - falling in love, being in love and loving people, loving your family, loving strangers is a universal concept. We are designed for it.
We are made in God's image and so in turn, made to love people.
I believe that it's like an attribute of God, something of who he is that he put in us.
My 6 year old daughter went for a playdate at her friend's house and she came home at 6'o clock. She run through the door, she was so excited, she had this beaming smile on he face. Mummy, let me tell something.. this afternoon, I learned about Jojo Siwa. She is young girl who dance and has youtube channel. She is kind of pop idol.
This is not about Jojo Siwa, this isn't about pop idols. This is about the speed with which my daughter fell in love with and became a obsessed with a person. It took 4 hours. 3 pop songs and youtube channel and she is obsessed. My daughter wants wear the dress like Jojo Siwa and so on.
Because, although there's this thing in us that loves people, there's this thing in us that loves to idolize people.
You don't have to be a teenager to idolize. You can be 6 and begin to build the idol of people.
Teenagers crying their eyes out, because a band is broken up. Why? because they idolize them.
We have this thing in us that love people but we take it too far. We have an entire industry that's built on idolizing. There is billions of pounds worth of money that creates that funds that pursues us to build idol in our life.
It's not just a western culture. Some of the examples I have used might not even know about in your locations. But you will have your own version.
You will have your own version of celebrity. Celebrity is someone who celebrates it. It's fine to celebrate people. I'm all for celebrating people's skills, gifting, sporting talents, achievements, things that they've done in science, things that they've done in literature. I love that and also I love Royal Wedding.
There's something about celebrating but there's something that we do that goes beyond celebrating and it's idolizing.
People are an easy idol to make, because they respond. And we love what loves us
We love it, when we get our name mentioned on twitter. We love it, when we get the like. We love it,when someone who we are aspire responds back to us. Because, it fulfills something in us of this love.
Having a person who's an idol isn't just a celebrity thing. It's a human thing.
It's not necessarily something that I fall into or I'm interested in. But I have my idols that are people. I have people that capture me, capture my attention and I want their affection and their affirmation. I want their response, I want their love, I want to be like them. I want their role and responsibilities. There's something about them that I just think , If only... If only I was there more... If only they loved me...
We create an idol of someone when we worship them as if they were a God.
We have to ask ourselves the question when it comes to smash the idols.
Who am I worshiping more than God?
Who do I give my affection, my attention, my action to?
Who do I see and start to elevate?
I believe I worship God when I talk about him, When I serve him, When I post on social media about him. But we can do that about people and that's worship. We make them idol.
God created people but we make them idols.
People are not idol. We make them idols. Instagram is a massive part of culture today. There are people that have made themselves an idol on Instagram. But they can't be there unless we like them. They can't be an idol unless we give them that place. Because we make idols. It's look like we can't help it. We want to love/admire/follow something, We are desperate for it.
The old Testament is full of this desperation in God's people to have a King an Idol, something they can interact with. Sometimes something that will appease them not something that will be Lord or be King.
We run to idols that appease us and love us and it's often a Person.
They.. Worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator.[Romans 1:25]
I've got amazing people(Husband, Children, Friends, Leaders) around me. But when we've got a creator, When we've got God, When we've got something beyond the fallen world/man. We've got something to worship/idolize/look to/be in love with, that's far better than a person.
But we do it. Peoples are easier to interact because you can see them, hear them, feel them. May be there's a satisfying. Put an easy place to find purpose and identity and support and comfort. God designed that but he designed something far better.
Idols exist in culture/magazines/online/films and media, But i believe that the biggest place where they exist is hearts.
These men have setup idols in their HEARTS[Ezekiel 14:3]
We can't stop the onslaught of media culture. God is called us to be in the world to experience and enjoy some parts of culture and arts and sports. But it's when that idols get into your heart? that's the bit that we have control of... that's the bit that we have to rule. Because idol will make its way into our affections.
The enemy isn't silent in all of this. He wants to get you. He wants to give you something to look to other than gods. because it'll steal our worship. He's desperate to do it.
Do humans really satisfy us more than God?
I have got an amazing husband. But I spent years in college, early 20s. There was a season where I had 3 boyfriends in a row, like no breaking. I'm not proud of that. I was looking to be satisfied/liked/not be lonely/funny enough/cool enough/worthy of companionship. I was trying to find my satisfaction in a person. But it doesn't not just the opposite sexes/whole love romances.
Sometimes we can try and find our satisfaction in a leader. They've got all my answers. If I go to their party, I'm enough. I am not listen to God, I need to meet with my leader because they're gonna help me. Because this created thing has more answer than the Creator. It's a idolatry.
We are looking to find some kind of answer in something that's fallen/created rather than go to the king of universe.
But it's not a celebrity thing/teenage thing/love romance thing. It's a everyone thing. We all do it, because our hearts are made for people. We're made to love and we pull people into this idolatry place. We pull them into this position in our hearts, because they're going to satisfy us.
May be you want that recognition at work, May be you want recognition from the opposite sex, May be you want to be in that crowd. May be you want them to say thank you. But we pull them into our hearts that really is a place that God has to take over.
You need to check your children who they are following. You need to check out who they're idolizing. Because my daughter might be six and I might think that Jojo Siwa is harmless. But I have to watch what a kind of attitudes/words/songs she's singing over her life. because she's six when she remembers those lyrics.
I just make a point of checking what my children are watching and listening to, because celebrity culture, the culture of idolization will work its way into our children as young as it can.
How do we know if someone is an idol to us?
1. Our affection for them outweighs our affection for God.
We give them our affection. I'm talking about our words, our time, our gifts, our love. We want to be around them. We give them displays, encouragements. May be we seek after that word from them.
Idolizing the people is two-way thing especially when we are not talking about celebrities, we're talking about people in our lives, people in around us(family, colleagues, friends). There's an interaction and there's desperation in us, there's a human thing in us to give affection/to want one affection. We can begin that exchange of affection, giving and receiving can began to make us to love people more. It puts weight in us but people, We give that affection because we want a reaction, because desperately want that person to give back to us. They become an idol. They become a tap and source of affection when the creator wants ti give you that.
2. Our attention is on them.
When you're young adults, hormones are crazy and you go to that party and all you do with your attention is think, where he see me? Is what I am wearing OK? Is he gonna talk to me? You play over the conversation in your head like how you're gonna say hi? or what you're gonna chat about? because your attention, everything you're thinking about/processing, you walk into a space wanting that attention. There's this thing in us to want attention and We give attention. We give our mind. We give what we do with our bodies, We give how we dress, We give our words, anything to give and receive attention.
If someone in your life taking so much of your attention, so that it outweighs God. Your gonna find that they're gonna become an idol. Because there's this weight of attention that you give to them.
I don't believe it's just a romance thing though. I believe some of you work jobs where you're desperate to give attention to someone in your work or receive attention from some kind of employer or boss, May be it's someone in that crowd at college/school/university. There's this attention you give to them more than anything.
Some people are so crippled by the need to give and receive attention from certain people, be them leaders, friendship groups, people at work, someone of the opposite sex, someone who's going to give you validation. You're so crippled. You're anxious without their attention.
If you are anxious because someone doesn't invite you to party or someone doesn't give you hello in cafe after church or you're not part of some kind of whatsup group. If that anxiety grips you, you have an idol. Because what they have to say to you, the attention that they are giving you is worth more than what God has to say to you. You've idolized them. You think that they're going to be your answer, you thing that this person is going to come in and that invite and that party and that whatsup group and that validation from that person of the opposite sex is going to give you purpose and identity. I'll tell you this, Its not going to give you anything. It's going to give you a moment and momentary pleasing to your stomach and your lack of identity.
Insecurity doesn't give up until steps in. You will not feel secure in who you're, you're not gonna feel secure in people groups/job/marriage/in any environment if you are trying to get the attention of people. Why because people will not satisfy you, they are creatives.
The greatest place where my children ever get satisfaction and identity and purpose is from their father. The greatest place I will ever get attention and satisfaction and identity is God. I had to learn it and I learned it by being rejected and I learned it by not being in the in-crowd and I learned it by going to God and saying "God you know what, I am who you say I am." I'm not the person because I'm in a party, I'm not the right person because I'm on the stage. None of that matters, it disappears. Because its human and it's mortal.
Your security and your identity and your attention has to be an exchange of you and God because people will fail you.
3. We allow our actions to be defined by their ways.
There are groups of people that you will hang out with that may be don't know Jesus. Three examples are 1.Family dinner table, 2.Work - group of colleagues 3. Social group like friendship group. All of those groups will have habits and actions. They'll have ways that they function. May be they drink too much, May be they swear, May be they smoke together, Maybe they gossip or they laugh about crude things.
If we're part of a group of people or a person and we change our actions to be like them or to be with them or to be accepted by them, we're setting them up as an idol in our life because we're saying that their way of life, their way of thinking and functioning their habits and their behavior is worth more than Gods.
You choose to give your sexual purity away because that person is going to give you validation, they are an idol to you. You choose to drink and get wasted when God says don't drink too much, those group of people are an idol to you.
You care more about their acceptance and their attention than you do Gods. Because you'll morph into who they are.
I'm talking about sin and also talking about habits, behaviors. What if God's called you to something and a Christian member of the family says I think you should do this but you know what God said to you. You change your actions to morph to people, you've got an idol.
Honestly as a child, it's the hardest thing when your parents disagree with you but God trumps it. Our actions should follow his call, because when they follow his call and we do what he says, we follow his words and we're saying God you're above everything, God you're worth more than what people say, Lord I care more about you, You are worth more. But If you raise a person up to that place and you're raising an idol and you're responsible for it.
I think idols have a two-way think. We choose what position they have in our hearts but I just hunt you down. There are some people in our lives that want to control over us, because it gives them validation. It gives them an idol place. It gives them superiority.
If you work in a job that has a very clear set of ranks or positions, you still have humility in all those positions but we're human. We feel pride to wanting to control people.
Some of us stuck in the idol trap where the people are hunting down our actions, we are giving our lives over to them therefore creating some kind of idol in our life.
All these ways of living affirm a person as an idol and we have to change because we have complete control of our lives. God gives us free will, it's our choice.
Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love [Jonah 2:8]
If we pay more regard to people, their affection, their attention and we obey their actions in order to draw close to them we forsake steadfast love.
Dave and I have marriage that's very honest but I'm gonna get my steadfast love from God. My husband is steadfast and he's loving, he's amazing but he can't be everything to me. I let him down. If he trusted in my love, my affection of my action, I'm gonna let him down.
You can't set your partner as your idol. It's not steadfast. People are not steadfast.
You can have an amazing marriage but it's nothing compared to relationship with the Creator.
The more I find my identity in my creator, the more I find my action, my emotion, my affection, the more I put those in God, the better wife I am, the better Mom I am. Because people can't be your steadfast love.
Parents - your children can't be your idol. They can let you down. When we love something, we elevate it and some of us have elevated our kids. We've elevated our kids above what God said. We've elevated their dreams. We've given up everything to see them dream which incredible but what about the church? What about God? What about disciplining them? What about teaching them in the ways of the Bible? What about saying NO? Because we can't elevate our children to this place where they're everything.
We can't elevate our husbands/friends/social group to a place where they have power over us, because we are making an idol.
When the order or our affections, attention and actions go to a human idol first.
Its like a disorder, Its like heart isn't in line.
If you've got disorder, if you've got an idol or person in people group, there is the one you've craving after more than anything. You're gonna be swayed. What if say No? If they don't ask you on a day, if you can't make that party, If you don't get the promotion. It's like we moved, we're swayed by these instead fast idols and it puts this disorder. There's no security or peace in our heart. There's anxiousness because we don't know, some one's net gonna let down or hurt us.
1. Order My Affection
You can actually love God first. Affection is about touch and feelings and emotion and encouragement and words. If that's easy in the mortal realm. It's easy with your friends and family. But telling God, "God I 'm so in love with you. Lord you're everything to me. God Thank you for everything you have done." This kind of affection doesn't a girl thing, that's son or daughter of God thing and that's why we battle through worship because it is display of affection for God. It's God you mean more, God you mean everything, God I love you. God Wants our affectionate.
Are we generous to people or Are we generous to God. It is easy to buy flowers and gift cards or send an Instagram. God once our affection, he wants that I love you.
My children could be crazy all day but if they got in my lap and said "I love you". It all disappears and God's the same, he just wants us to say I love you. God wants our affection. He's desperate for our hearts and our affections. That's where idols live.
When we start moving our affections to God, We start kicking out these idols. Because we start to say God What you have to say about me means more.
2. Order my Attention
Imagine yourself in this scenario, You are walking into some kind of room. May be it's family/friends/colleagues, someplace you go often. If you walk in there with a human idol, it's likely you walking in and saying I want that persons attention. I'm going to do something to get their attention. If you are walking into that room with God as your first, you're gonna be asking this, God Where's your attention and who do you need me to pay attention to.
You walk into social situation wanting people to fix you.
You want attention and affection. How about you quit and craving value and start giving here? Why don't you walk into your work situation/family and rather than craving all this attention and affection and affirmation of these humans.
Why don't you walk into room and say God What are you doing today? Lord where can I give attention for the lonely?, Lord Who is hurting? God where's the Gospel going out? Lord who do you want me to love and prophesy over.
I had gotten so caught up in my own needs. The people were my idol instead of God because my action was based on what they could give me, not what God wanted to do in their lives.
You switch and change this. When you start putting your action on God's side, you're going to start seeing God move. Because God begins to me more for you and he begins to be this higher place in you.
I wanna challenge you this week. Before you walk into some kind of room where there is a group of people, where previously you would have idolized them. I want you to stop at the door and I want you to say God I'm going to give your affection. I'm going to pay attention to what you're doing in this room and I'm gonna obey that rather than being moved by these idols that previously had my attention/affection. I'm gonna walk into that space and I' gonna give in to that.
3. Order my Actions
If God is our first, We're gonna do what he says.
It means you get swearing and you stop your gossip, you stop trying to wangle the situation so that you will be leading, you stop drinking, you stop making out doing things you shouldn't do, you stop dishonoring your parents,
I don't know what your action is but you are going to have actions that you hand over and allow someone else to in control.
God is judging our hearts. He's judging the intentions of our hearts. He's looking at our actions and saying do you love me? Am I first in your life? because there is call in us to put him first.
I believe that when we start order these things, we're taking away the human idols. We're taking the power of people, sometimes they wanna to control us, sometime don't. We're taking it off them and we're saying God you are in charge. You're who I live for an audience of one.
Some of us get our attention and affirmation from our leaders. They might be sharing gospel with you or scripture or may be you do life with them serving in church.
There's a difference between honor and worship. There's a difference between inspiration and idolatry. You can be inspired. You can admire. You can honor leaders in your life. But when you start to tip into the need for them or the need for the tense, that's when it starts to be idolatry.
I am not saying cut away from completely. Don't do anything that they do. Don't give them any affection/emotion of feeling, that's not what I am saying. I'm saying that we've to do this thing where God's first.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart.. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. [Mathew 22:37-39]
God makes it very clear where our attention/affection/affirmation must first lie. He made it so clear. It's him.
He's the one that we need to be in love with, he's the one we need to be thinking about, he's the one that we need to obey not people.
If we move through that place, we're moving through to a place of having an ordered and a healthy heart.
If we love God more, We will love others better.
Because with a thing in idol is we interact with it.
If you are in that place where God has the first of your attention/action/affirmation, he's gonna pull those things into you. God's gonna pour his attention upon you. He's watching you and talking to you. God's gonna pour his affirmation into you. God's gonna pour his affection and his love into you. He's gonna teach your actions. and If this is the place where we're in, If this is the place we exist,When we love people, We're gonna love them the way he loves us.
When we're around people, we're gonna bring action and change to them as much as we are to our own lives.
God is desperate to be your first love, I am not talking about romantic love, I'm talking about love of father. God is fiercely loves you.
I don't know what job you do, What things you see, what culture you are in, where you serve around the world, God fiercely... fiercely loves you.
God wants to deliver us from human idols. He wants to stop people controlling us. He also wants us to stop letting people control us. because He wants to free us.
I believe you really need to talk someone about this human idols. The thing is with talking about idols is reveals them and someone can keep you account to it.
There are things we need to do to process this kind of challenge. This is called smash the idols, not remove the idols or take the idols down, it's called smash the idols. Because there is a action need to do.
I just wanna challenge you church, wherever you are, you will got a room you walk into, you'll got a space that God's called you into a group of people, a family, a social group, a work setting, you'll got it. Lets go into that place with God as our first. Because I believe we can change the world when we show it what it means to not be obsessed with each other and obsessed with people and to be obsessed with him.