We were created to worship. Every one of us. We each have a God-sized hole in our hearts that only He can fill. But we’re human so we attempt to fill that hole up with any and everything but God. Instead of finding everything we need from the only One who can ever give us everything we could ever want we search for it in all the stuff around us. Our God’s become:
Our material possessions
In some search for significance we create God’s out of the things and people in our lives. Some of those things, in and of themselves are good things. Its good to have a good marriage and well behaved kids and a job that we enjoy and are good at. But they can’t be our God’s. Then there are things that aren’t typically good out of context that we allow to take the place of God. We look to affirmations, drugs, sex, or money to fill this deep need for significance in our lives. As a culture, in America, we create idols and God’s out of actors and sports figures and fame and riches.
We are always worshipping. Because that’s how we were created. We were made in God’s image, to reflect his glory. But sadly, many of us instead worship ourselves, sexual pleasure, our drink of choice, a hobby. The issue isn’t whether or not you worship but what or who you worship.
Mark Driscoll states that idolatry is an “inversion” of appropriate worship. Instead of worshipping the creator we worship the creation. Romans 1 talks about this as well. Its been imbedded in human nature from the very beginning. Man’s biggest issue is that he chooses to celebrate the stuff God gives rather than just simply celebrating God alone.
We are to worship God alone. Yes we can enjoy these other things. Sex with your spouse is a good thing. A happy marriage is a good thing. A well-supporting job is a good thing. A home that you love coming home to is a good thing. Your volunteer work is a good thing. Your children’s talents are a good thing. But finding our identity in these things, living for these things, building your world around these things only brings hurt, failure and destruction.
If the thing you thirst for, the thing you crave, the thing that gets your heart pumping, the thing that you can’t stop thinking about, the thing that keeps you going all day long, is anything other than God….you’ve got yourself an idol. Guess what? “The weight of expectation crushes that which we turn into an idol.” The people and things in our lives cannot thrive underneath that kind of pressure.
Alecia’s idol could be summed up in one word…perfection. She desperately desired to have the best grades, be liked by everyone, never fail at anything she tried, have a marriage people envied, have children who always presented well. She put all of her time and energy into creating a perception and a feeling of perfection in every area of her life. The irony is that all that work and “pressure” caused everything to eventually crumble. What would have happened if she had just worshipped and filled her heart with the only One who can never fail, disappoint or hurt? What if she had focused her desires on the Creator instead of all the stuff he’d provided? No it may not have caused Clint to not have affairs. Because he is responsible for the making of his own idols. But it certainly would have impacted how she was affected by her husband’s choices.
Clint’s idolatry presented in much the same way. Perfection. He desperately wanted everyone to like him. He wanted to be the funniest in the group. He wanted to be the guy that everyone wanted to be around. He wanted to be the one that other’s came to for help. He wanted others to think that life was good. He wanted to be envied. He had a great job, a growing family, plenty of money, the perfect house, an awesome golf handicap. Who wouldn’t want to be him? Underneath there was such a breakdown of self and significance that it caused him to find it in the meeting of his perceived needs by the wrong people and things. The irony for Clint was that in making the choices he did he actually ended up creating exactly the opposite of what he was looking for with everyone around him. All of a sudden everyone knew about his imperfections. Plenty of people had reason to not like him or respect him.
Your spouse is not your god. Your marriage is not your god. Believe us when we tell you…searching, thirsting, and craving after something or someone other than God will never bring what you are searching for. We are all in search for the same thing. Peace, fulfillment, significance, purpose, meaning. That only comes from one place.
Maybe its not your spouse and your marriage that you’ve built up. Maybe its someone or something else. Fill in the blank.
_________________________ is not my god.
There is only one thing you can do that will actually work. Begin today by filling the God-shaped hole with the only thing that fits.