Gods (idols)

<<substitution for the real God>>

Normally written as god, with a small ‘g’ to differentiate from God, the maker of heaven and earth (Ps 115:15).

Humanity was created to worship the true God, but if people choose not to acknowledge and submit to the Lord (God Almighty) this all-important focal point of life will be empty. As a consequence they frequently substitute an inferior subject or object to honour and revere.  The person or thing to which they offer their allegiance then becomes their master who exerts a powerful influence over them (Rom 6:16; 2 Pet 2:19).

While humanity likes to ‘see’ things and relate to the natural physical realm in preference to the unseen, spiritual realm God is an invisible Spirit who is to be “worshipped in Spirit and truth”, and can’t be adequately represented by any manmade symbol (Jn 4:24).  We are “not to worship any other gods or even to make any idols” because these will detract from His rightful place of receiving all the praise and allegiance of His creation (Ex 20:3-6, 34:14; Ps 81:9; Isa 45:5,22).

Anything that replaces the true, living God or is valued above Him is an idol, becoming a substitute for the position He alone should occupy in our lives (Ex 32:1-10). Many Christians elevate doctors to a higher status than God. While the medical profession is invaluable, we must not deny the supremacy of God, who fashioned our complex being in

Am I in danger of replacing God with a god?

the first place.  Rather than taking the health issue to God first, He is consulted only as a last resource or when the medical personnel have run out of options. God should be our first choice and believed in preference to the limited understanding of talented yet flawed humans. Such disrespect involves making God into an image of our choosing and understanding, making Him conform to our beliefs and desires, instead of us being changed into His image of holiness, righteousness, love and justice.  The Bible states idols are worthless inanimate objects and those who worship them take on their characteristics (Ps 96:5, 115:8, 135:15-18; Isa 44:9-20; 1 Cor 8:4). “Ears they have, but they cannot hear” so what is the point of trying to communicate with an object that can never respond (1 Sam 12:20,21; Ps 115:4-7; Jer 10:5,14)?

Following other gods will ensnare and lead to deterioration in all aspects of life, as shown when people worship creation more than the creator, with this pathway taking them further from the truth and into increasing deception and darkness (Ps 16:4, 106:36; Rom 1:21-25). Idols and false religious paraphernalia must be destroyed, not just ignored, given away or sold (Act 19:19).  Be careful of cultural artifacts which are sold as tourist mementos, for often they are not as innocent as they might appear, instead having negative spiritual influences associated with them.

Eastern religions feature many different gods – lifeless and unresponsive objects to which sacrifices and offerings are brought to supposedly pacify the ‘resident spirit’ within the god. However, while there is no life in the idol itself the Bible states behind idolatry and gods is the power and activity of evil spiritual beings ruled by Satan, who have much influence in this world (Deut 32:17; Ps 106:36,37;

"Have no other gods but me" – God

1 Cor 10:19,20). In the western world, gods can be materialistic things – homes, possessions, car, sports, clothes, job, sex and even the love of self. The Bible is very clear, we are to love the living God with everything we have, are and hope to be (Mk 12:30).

Has He been relegated to second place in my life? If so, repent, return to God and get rid of the idols for the true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is living and is the only one who should be worshipped because no other person can do ‘what only He can do’ (1 Sam 7:3; Dan 3:29).

See also: consumerism, evil spirits, false religions, God, hedonism, idol/idolatry, symbols, worship.