We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives, We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ, we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.
I came across this verse the other day, and it seemed to represent an idea I was trying to get across. Which was that we are NO longer slaves to sin. Our desires to live for ourselves or (the one I struggle with) having to please other people. The answers from the first worship post found some surface level issues but hopefully, the second post helped to really dig down deep, into those places where our brokenness has made us into the person we are today that we often don’t want to face. A lot of times these subjects make us so uncomfortable that we don’t ask for help because we feel like we can’t admit these issues, or we lay it at the feet of Jesus only to pick it right again when we want to be comfortable.
So now we know Jesus came and died to free us from the slavery of sin, and we know that worshiping idols is sinful, how can we be free of the shackles of idolatry? Idolatry is so hard to deal with because our hearts were designed for worship. In fact, the only way to remove idols from our lives is to replace them with God! Let’s revisit a verse from the previous post to see how this is possible.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
As Paul mentioned in the first two verses, we must be willing to put our hearts and minds on things above.
This requires us to repent of our sin and not just because of a fear of consequences but out of an understanding that Jesus died to free us from these sins and that our sin doesn’t only hurt us but it makes a mockery of that sacrifice. Seeing the damage, we’ve dealt to our own lives still has us at the center of our repentance which leads to a selfish surface level repentance out of a fear of consequences rather than a heart changing experience of realizing the deep love our God has for us.
But repentance alone is not enough. That begins the idol removal process, but we must know replace that idol with God. We must rejoice in him daily; He must be the biggest source of joy in our lives so that while we may still want to do well at work and want to get along with others that they are no longer in position to become idols because our love for God is much more important than anything else. Think about all the things God has brought into your life and the promises he has made in his word. Let these things define and sustain you rather than your fleeting desires.
It would be negligent not to mention that this journey should be attempted alone. Isolating yourself from Christian community is the worst thing you can ever do. Cutting communication with other Bible-believing Christians leaves way too much room for the world (culture, non-Christians, Spiritual Warfare) to influence your beliefs. Even in complete isolation, we would be left to our own internal thoughts and emotions which twist me up and turn me around all the time. Having Godly men and women in your life that can speak truth to you is essential to growing as a believer and keeping idols at bay and I pray that each and every one of you seeks that out as part of your walk.
A lot of my ideas on worship and idols were influenced by Tim Keller and specifically his book: Counterfeit Gods. If you want to know more and see a much more in-depth explanation of these topics I highly recommend it! And if you use the link above you can help me continue to improve the site!