idolatry

WHEN ENJOYMENTS CROSS THE LINE

 

What makes an enjoyment idolatrous?

John Piper in one of his articles did an excellent job of digging into this matter. Through a series of 12 points, Piper helps us recognize when our enjoyments are being misused.

In short, he wants us to make sure all our enjoyments are completely God-centered.

If you consider any of these points to be “too picky”, it may be a sign that you need to look more seriously at God’s call for you to be a Great Commandment person.

Here are Piper’s 12 points of self-examination:

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is forbidden by God

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is disproportionate to the worth of what is desired

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not permeated with gratitude

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not see in God’s gift that God himself is more to be desired than the gift

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is starting to feel like a right, and our delight is becoming a demand

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it draws us away from our duties

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it awakens a sense of pride that we can experience this delight while others can’t

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is oblivious or callous to the needs and desires of others

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not desire that Christ be magnified as supremely desirable through the enjoyment

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not working a deeper capacity for holy delight

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss ruins our trust in the goodness of God

Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss paralyzes us emotionally so that we can’t relate lovingly to other people.

WORSHIP: Part 2 “Return From Idolatry”

“Although (men) knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:21-25)

1. Our problem is not that we fail to be worshipers, it is that we easily become idolaters; we worship the wrong god.


2. Every person without Christ is an idolater.

God as He has revealed Himself, is not exalted above all in them

3. Every Christian must be wary of idolatrous tendencies

Being an idolater goes far beyond bowing to a statue. Idols are those things which take God’s place in our heart. This can include relationships, success, security, and the desire to be respected or liked. We often turn causes and rights into idols. Anything that our life bows to – is an idol to us

4. Christ came to make us true worshipers of God.

I Thessalonians 1:9 “you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God”

Our restored relationship with God opens the door to know Him. The eyes of our heart are opened to the realities of God. Knowing the truth leads us to be worshippers of True God

It is not an exaggeration to say, becoming worshippers fulfills our salvation, because we were created to be worshippers who give God glory. Salvation restores the right relationship with God and the right attitude toward God.

Consider these questions: Does your knowledge of God drive you to worship Him? What do you exalt? Where do you need to watch out for idolatrous tendencies?