Idols are a huge deal to God. Let’s take a look at the 1st and 2nd of the 10 Commandments to verify this:
Exodus 20 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself a carved (or mental, digital) image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Looking at the above passage, it is evident that God is “jealous” for the focus and reverence of His people. He states openly that the iniquity of the fathers passed onto their children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Him. God translates “hate” as the worship of false gods and idols that dilute their worship and reverence of Him.
From my view, a good working definition of a hurtful, disrespectful idol is a person, place, false god or thing that I tend to exchange worship and service of the Creator for worship of created things. God is jealous for the sole, focused worship of His people. If not, I do not reverence Him as the one and only God.
Ask yourself, “What or who really rules my heart?” On a practical basis, you will be surprise what your idol is. Here are some examples of idols: success, false god, appearance, sex, a good man, a shapely/beautiful woman, porn, entitlement, comfort, being respected, being appreciated, in control, love of money, “my” depression, a car, vacations, wedding, job of your dreams, habitual drugs, sports, etc. What keeps you from expressing an all out commitment to God? Judging from what Moses quoted from God, we must identify and get rid of these idols.
By the way, don’t try to compartmentalize. God is all knowing (omniscient). Hebrews 4 states in verse 13, And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. It is really clear in this verse, don’t try to hide. Come clean. Everything within you fights you on this. However, please don’t forget your enemy is not flesh and blood but principalities and powers in the spiritual realm…the spiritual forces of the devil. A powerful verse for you to stand on is, “greater is He who is in me, than he that is in the world.”
Proverb 4 23 Keep your heart (innermost, primary thoughts) with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Honor God at the core of your being. Make sure these thoughts are truthful not being double-minded with allegiance to an idol.
Matthew 6 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Sell out to and place God first. He will bless you!!
To honor God, we must identify and get rid of idols!