An idol according to the dictionary is an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with admiration, adoration, or devotion. So basically an idol is whatever or whoever you place before God. I’ll refer to the Bible because God Himself made His views on idols pretty clear in the Bible. Exodus 20 vs. 4-5 states; You must not make for yourself any idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens, on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to worship them, for I the Lord your God is a jealous God, who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. NLT
I am going be really honest and talk about my own idols:
1) My cell phone- my phone is practically attached to my hips, when I go to bed I keep it next to my pillow. If it rings while I am fast asleep, I will most likely wake up and answer it, I always have to have my charger whenever I go out and when I wake up in the morning the first thing I reach for is my phone. What I have just described is me basically putting my phone, which is an object, above God because when I wake up in the morning my FIRST attention and devotion should be to God and not a piece of metal.
2) Marriage and children- I had a life plan, a plan I so naively thought would come to pass, I always wanted to get married and have babies really early in life. I had this plan when I turned twenty one, and seven years later, it hasn’t come to pass and I will be the first to admit that I have been obsessing over it, wanting it and whining about it because it hasn’t gone my way. Sometimes I almost place the thought of having my own family, above actively pursuing a relationship with God.
3) Worrying- yes, worrying excessively is a form of idol worship. I have a PhD in staying up at night when I should be asleep, worrying about the future, about when I will have kids, about how I am going to pay my rent, about how I am going to fulfill all the responsibilities that come with being my mother’s oldest child, I worry and worry and in so doing I elevate my problems above God.
The beauty of admitting that I have these idols is that in so doing I have acknowledged that I have these issues and I am daily handing them over to God in prayer, admitting my weaknesses and praying that God’s strength be made perfect in my weakness. I make a constant effort to glance at my phone less and less, and I recently handed over the reins of my life to God after I asked myself a couple of hard questions like; what if it isn’t God’s will that I even get married, what if the rapture happens before I meet my husband? Asking myself these questions and knowing that I have no control whatsoever about what tomorrow will be has given me a certain measure of peace. It is my job to seek God, and make the most of my life while I am here on earth, and it is up to God to make His presentation to me in His own time, because HE does make all things beautiful in His own time, and because He is a good father, I know He will grant my heart desires.
I don’t know what your idols maybe, but if you search yourself, you will definitely find that there are a number of things in your life that you place above God and your relationship with Him. The tricky thing is that you might have enthroned these idols unconsciously, but the beauty of it is that there is grace made available to us and God is and will always be, just a prayer away.