15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of form on the day that Jehovah spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire; 16lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flieth in the heavens, 18 the likeness of anything that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth; 19 and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the host of heaven, thou be drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which Jehovah thy God hath allotted unto all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But Jehovah hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as at this day.
The basis of idolatry is turning from God and putting your faith in a cheap imitation. Rather than Holding reverence for what is Holy in the eyes of the Lord, sights are turned to the created world instead. This world is in a fallen state, not given to the Glories of perfection God has intended for us as believers. For example, the Israelites had escaped from Egypt, and while Moses spoke with God, they rebelled. In vain, they built a Golden calf to mimic the world they had left.
In many ways, as we are born again, we fall for the same vice. We forget to throw off the trappings of the ways that signify who we once were. Many of us, even in the Church, struggle with various forms of idolatry. Lusts, pride, money, adrenaline seeking, and even puffing up the mind with knowledge to boast are easily named. I struggle with my temptations myself, even as I write!
However, there are greater forces at work that we need to recognize that are contributing to the roots of each issue. We are flesh and blood, but our battle reaches far beyond that into the spirit realm. We must understand that the more we open doors for oppression, the easier it is for the enemy to gain a foothold. One can contend that one of the most spiritually oppressive forms of idolatry is the worship of oneself. Speaking from some experience, when I have idolized my view of self above God by trying to take control instead of allowing his control, it has caused me many years of pain.
3 For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his glorying in regard of himself alone, and not of his neighbor. 5 For each man shall bear his own burden.
6 But let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that practise such things. 3 And reckonest thou this, O man, who judgest them that practise such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 who will render to every man according to his works: 7 to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: 8 but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, 9 tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; 10 but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: 11 for there is no respect of persons with God.
Though problems have seeped, the Spirit of God still breathes amongst his Church. We can see that there is still a good present, or the world would die out daily. Understanding this, we know that it will not last forever. We live in a finite world. It has been dying since sin first entered it. It has transformed the initial creation into a cursed place. In our transgression, the land and everything within was made to die.
To reach salvation, you must understand to set yourself aside to see a greater meaning. Rather than taking the world into your own hands, you must give your life to a God more remarkable than all things. We all must understand that our self-dysfunction is our self-destruction. By the Grace of God, we are saved through faith in Christ Jesus.
American Standard Version (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Dt 4:15–20. American Standard Version (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Ga 6:3–7. American Standard Version (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995), Ro 2.