Idolatry defined, exposed and fought (1 Corinthians 10:1-31)

Whatever we worship we will serve and whatever we serve reveals what we worship because service and worship are always bound together. That being said, as Christians, if we worship anything other than Jesus Christ as God, than we become idolaters. Before I became a Christian, I always thought that “worship” of anything was looked at in a negative light. The word was never used positively. I remember arriving to a Christian College as a Freshman with no church background and when they told me to stand up for worship in chapel, I literally ran out and called my dad.

As we continue through our study of 1st Corinthians, Paul gets to this theological topic of Idolatry and Worship in chapter 10. He starts the chapter by telling the Corinthians that they are acting like the wicked generation Israel that wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until God killed them all off in order to bring the next generation into teh promise land. He then lists out some of their idolatry and finally tells them that God will never allow them to be tempted beyond their ability to stand and endure.

That said, lets together define idolatry, expose our idolatry and fight idolatry.

Idolatry Defined / Idolatry Exposed / Idolatry Fought

Idolatry defined:

Idolatry is anything more important to you than God. Anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God. And idol is something that we want so badly that we will sin if we don’t get it or sin in order to obtain it. Its anything that you seek to give you what only God can give you. Idolatry is building your life and meaning on anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some common idols in todays culture are: Sleep, Sexual Pleasure, Intimacy, Work, Money, TV, Food, Isolation, a spouse, a Boyfriend / Girlfriend, a Sport, Exercise, Hobbies, Internet, Video Games, Drugs, Alcohol, and even things such as your Church and Ministry.

Idolatry exposed:

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves to in order to identify our own personal idols:

1. What do you daydream about? What occupies your mind when you have nothing to think about? Sex, Work, Sleeping, being in the presence of God, bible reading, Sundays at Church?

2. How do you spend your money? The Kingdom of God, The local church. What do you spend money on when you really don’t have the money? Food, clothes, kids. Truth be told, the reason why many people don’t tithe to their church is not because they don’t believe in the tithe or they don’t have money, but because deep in their mind the mission of God is not worth their investment.

3. What is your most uncontrollable emotion? Joy, gratitude, love, patience, or Anger, Saddness, Fear, Hatred.

4. Where do you run for security when you are overwhelmed? Jesus, your bible, prayer, Sleep, internet, alcohol, sex, exercise, work, isolation.

5. What is the one thing, that if you had it, it’d complete you? (Jerry Maguire: You complete me, shut up, you had me at hello) More money, new job, new wife, new husband, kids, better kids.

6. How do you define yourself? By what you do, where you live, by your past, by your identity in Christ.

7. Are you more broken when people reject you or when they reject Jesus? In other words, are you more consumed with the way people view you or the one who you claim is ultimate? The reason some of us don’t care about living on mission, is because deep down you worship yourself and your image, more than you worship Christ.

Idolatry fought:

1. Fighting together. (Judges 1:1-4)

Godly men and women lock arms together and fight together. Even though through Christ we have been granted victory, it is alway necessary for us to grab others to walk along side of us in order to go to battle. The reason why many of us stop enduring is because nobody is pushing us to keep fighting.

2. Fighting with disciplines. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

What are the 5 things that move you away from a pursuit of Christ? Make a List (Here's mine.) and stop doing them.

1. Under sleep. 2. Too much time on TV or internet.

3. Living in isolation. 4. Work to much. 5. No exercise.

What are the 5 things that lead you into worship and gratitude of Christ? Make a List (Here's mine.) and begin to do them more.

1. Bible/Journaling and coffee. 2. Meeting with other Godly dudes to talk and pray.

3. Reading, Listening to Sermons. 4. Date Night with Beth.

5. Pray with the kids at night and talk about the Lord.

3. Transform your mind. (Romans 12:2)

What if we tunnel all the worship that we give to idols and apply it to the Lord? Which is basically seeking to fulfill 1 Corinthians 10:31. In other words, in everything that you do, in everything you say, in everything you touch, in every instance of every day, you and I should seek to bring Glory to the one who deserves glory. The one who created you, who loves you, the one who dances over you, the one whom you belong to. Jesus Christ

The entire book of Ecclestaties is letting us know that every single thing that this world has to offer is futile and will pass away. Sex, Money, Exercise, Prestige, whatever. Yet the Lord is the only one who can deliver everlasting joy. Therefore, he is truly the only one worthy of our worship.

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