May Bible Study | Burn Your Idols


Burn Your Idols | A Study On Idolatry


Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down arguments and every High thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

Knowledge (Wisdom) in the Greek is defined as the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

Captive (Subdue) in the Greek is defined as imprisoned or confined.

Obedience (Submission, Compliance) in the Greek is defined as compliance or submission. 

The first commandment God gave to Israel was that they should have no other gods before him.
(Exodus 20:3) “You should have no other gods before me.”  Idols are not just limited to the worship or reverence of people, it’s actually easy to take anything that isn't inherently sinful or bad and turn it into an idol. We do this without realizing it, I know I have, mainly because we neglect to realize that anything we put before God is an idol and that are not limited to spiritual matters.

For example, if you're always overeating you have made food an Idol. If you can't go any length of time without social media than it has become an idol. If you obsess over your appearance than it's an idol and if you prioritize your relationship with your kids, partner or job over God then these things have become idols. While none of these things are bad per se after all you need to eat, you are supposed to take care of your family and having a job allows you to be able to do that however if you are willing to compromise God's standards for any one of these things or people, they are potentially idols. 

Things you are hesitant and unwilling to let go of that you know can be unhealthy for you or things that are causing you to stumble in any way are idols. If there is any one thing in your life right now that you know when asked by God to put it down and walk away and you are unwilling to, this is something that has begun to exalt itself above God and these are things we must take captive in obedience to Christ. 

Colossians 3:5 Paul reminds us to “put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature.” Remember as a believer you have become a new creature in Christ and the reason why this text is relevant is because as with all sin it starts in the mind, it starts with a thought. If we allow those thoughts to linger and we don't address them then may become desires which escalate from there. 

It could be something as simple as you being awake past midnight when you should already be in bed asleep while mindlessly surfing Instagram knowing you have to be up early in the morning the next day but your desire for entertainment is so strong that you are willing to risk being tired in the morning or late to work just so you don’t have to put your phone down. Suddenly a simple thing like entertainment and pleasure becomes a strong desire and something that is physically and mentally unhealthy but you refuse to give it up which again is an example of how we take everyday things and turn them into idols. 

Let’s examine a few of the other common idols in our lives that have become normalized... 

Earlier I mentioned food, this one is often overlooked because it’s such a common thing. Most of us wouldn’t want to admit it but we aren’t just eating when we’re actually hungry, we are eating for all sorts of reasons: boredom, we enjoy the taste, we’re watching TV so we have to have snack too, right? While we know overeating is unhealthy we struggle to stop and will even make excuses as to way it’s not really a problem.

Philippians 3:18-19 - For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 

Another would be that of beauty and our appearance and while nothing is wrong with wanting to look nice, it’s when it becomes excessive like I mentioned previously.  If you refuse to leave your house without a full face of makeup or no one has seen your natural hair in years because you refuse to be scene with anything less than every baby hair on your lace front laid to perfection. For the men, you can’t leave the house if your shoes aren’t perfectly clean and without creases or if you don’t have a fresh haircut.  You have to examine your thoughts and honestly determine whether it’s just you wanting to look put together or whether it’s become vanity.   

Next up is fitness and this one hits home for me because I have struggled with this one.  Wanting to prioritize your health is definitely a good thing but if you are second guessing every morsel of food you eat and beating yourself up when you slip up or speaking negatively of yourself because you don’t have the same body type as your favorite fitness influencer, this is idol behavior.

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 

1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 

Lastly I want to touch on something that may not always come up in conversation and that’s the desire to be compete and be relevant. Social media has become such a big part of our lives, some literally live their whole lives online and share way too much. Have you ever felt bad about your life circumstances because you’ve compared it to what others have shown you online about themselves?  Has this ever made you feel the need to make drastic changes to your situation to fit some internet narrative? Has comparing your life to another’s made you feel inadequate and discontent with your life at any point?  This is dangerous because it can cause us to begin to do things to feel better about ourselves or to make us more relevant online, things that are not healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or morally. 

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Colossians 2:8 - Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Matthew 6:24 - No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Again, if we don't get control of these types of thoughts and habits it will grow into a need or a strong desire and escalate from there. This is why Paul is reminding the congregation at Corinth to bring their every thought in captivity to Christ which is still just as true and just as necessary for us today. 


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