Idolatry in a believer will always be what sits on the throne of their life. In God’s eyes, it is spiritual prostitution and He considers anyone who takes part a harlot Jer 2:20. It is essentially one who willingly sells himself to an idol in order to gain something where you receive your ‘fill’ from the thing, doing or person that he gives himself. This relationship will always be first and what you devote most of your time, thoughts, finances and energy to.
What are some examples of idolatry?
Love of pleasure & inordinate affection –entertainment (tv, internet, books, movies, music), travel, pets, hobbies, pastimes, living to eat & drink (socialite),
Addiction; smoking, drinking, drugs, prescriptive – psychological, pornography – etc.
Placing humans above God; spouse, children, people in general – fear of man, or for the attention and/ or approval of man
Religion; signs & wonders, seeking to ‘feel’ the Spirit, prayers to be answered, doctrines of men
Philosophy of this world; education, psychology, culture today
Greed (covetousness); always on the look for more and better
Possessions; clothes, homes, businesses, machines, automobiles, pleasure boats
Status, Sports, Sex, Self, money (poverty, wealth), health
This list is not exhaustive, but you get the idea.
When a person is living in idolatry they cannot minister to the Lord or for the Lord. And what happens is they move from a living relationship with God through His Holy Spirit to a religious one. This is where the deception lies. For those who are caught in this, will for the most part think they be in right standing with the Lord – because they continue ‘doing’ the right things that Christendom teaches. They then begin slipping down the slippery slope where they become prideful and hardened against the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
My question and maybe yours too – at what moment has one gone too far?
Heb 6:4-6; For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Another question, dare we push it in the name of grace?
Heb 10:26; For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
I pray that we think soberly if we indulge in the things above as we are playing with fire to which we serve not the living God but ourselves. For those of us that are not, may we see where our vulnerabilities lie.