My real problem and how God rescues me from it!
JD Greear explains that idolatry is the root of all sin. He defines idolatry as giving something more weight in your life than God. I know many of us think of idolatry as having a little wooden, plastic or metal object we bow down to or pray to every week. In the past, I would have though the same thing. However, I am realizing more every day how much I worship things like comfort more than God. My bed calls me back each morning, my home is not sold, my tv invites me to sit and watch sports and I constantly want my garage to put my car in. None of these things are sinful in and of themselves. But when I give them more weight than God, they become things I give worth (weight) more than God.
We don't have to sing songs to something to worship it. We don't have to bow down to it to worship it. We even don't have to make it look like something we love to worship it. We just have to love it more than God. Let me explain how this looks in my life.
Since my house isn't sold yet, I whine and complain about it not being sold. I begin to doubt that God even cares about selling my house nor cares about me. So I begin to find my joy in my house selling. Every time there is a showing, I get excited only to walk away a little depressed that my house didn't sell. I have put my hope and joy in my house selling. I have lived in a way that I will not be happy unless my house sells. I have given the sale of my house more weight in my life than God. The way I lived says to God, "I am not happy with you but only if you sell my house will I find joy in you again".
Can you see it? I have given the sale of my house my joy, instead of finding my joy in God who always will love me and will never leave me nor forsake me. I have worshipped at the altar of comfort and because I have; I commit idolatry. I have lived in a way that says "I cannot be happy unless my house sells" or "God I feel you are cursing me because we won't let me move to PA when I want to". I have allowed my joy to be dictated by my circumstances not my God.
Idolatry is dangerous. It continues to pursue our affections and is one of Satan's greatest weapons. If he can get us to believe that we cannot find joy or peace in where God is taking us, he will convince us not to join God in the journey. What have you given more weight to than God?
Have you loved your job more than God, where you become worried and stressed over losing it, ending up in a depressed and harden state? How about your marriage? Have you worried more about having your wife happy with you instead of finding your joy in Jesus? Have you lost sleep trying to control your spouse or their habits? How about your children? Do you constantly worry about them and try to control their lives thinking "if I don't teach them a certain way they will never love God"? Have you put more weight on your parenting than the work of God in your life and their lives?
We both might have an idolatry problem. The great thing is that God uses the Gospel to bring us back to finding our joy in Him! If you struggle with worry, depression or life is just hard, take some time and make your home in the truths of the Gospel. Let what Christ has done settle your hurting heart! Only in the accomplishments of Christ, through the cross, will you find joy. Because there you will find that God is working and fighting for your joy. Only in the Gospel will you come to know that You are Christ's and the things that your worry about are already His! He cares for you and has done the work necessary to give you peace and joy through the hardest times. Abide in Christ and YOU WILL BEAR much fruit!