The problem with idols

I have a problem. I am willing to admit it. And as the old saying goes, “admitting is the first step”. My problem is this. I try to fill the void in my heart with things besides Christ. Or to phrase it in a different way, I allow idols to creep in and control me.

Before I go further, let me give you a glimpse into my life. I might be different than what you would call a “normal guy”. I dont like sports, frankly could care less about them. Especially football. I dont have cable TV in my home. Nor do I like getting dirty or have any basic skills to fix items around my house or the vehicle in the driveway. But if there is one thing I do like, its technology, and all forms of it.

Technology has been something that I grabbed hold of at a young age. Computers always felt natural to me and my knowledge increased throughout the years. My original trip to college consisted of studying Network Administration and Computer Security, with hopes of working in front of screens for the rest of my life. I’ll spare the details of the years to follow, but Jesus definitely had a different plan for my life. Regardless of the changes in my life, one thing has consistently remained the same. No amount of technology is ever enough, and no new device is ever new enough for me.

The reality of my life, and honestly for your life, is this; nothing outside of Christ can make us happy. Or to use an even better word, nothing outside of Christ can bring us contentment. I am not the first person to make this statement of course, and we know basic truths like this, but I want us all to take a moment to reflect on the grip that technology has on us. That’s the problem with idols. Sometimes we are the last to know that it is in fact an idol to us. Think about it. No matter how many you, or I, accumulate, the results are the same. This constant desire to have more, this ever-longing for the newest and greatest device. Even though the device you are using is only 6 months old and has not a single problem. But our culture loves the newest thing, and unfortunately as followers of Christ, we are not immune to this threat either. Now don’t get me wrong, technology and the changes brought about in the world today are great. Nor am I calling for a complete fast from all of our devices. The fact that we can reach people across the globe with the Gospel via Facebook and Twitter is nothing short of a gift from God himself. In my personal life, I am able to share my teaching through the book of Hebrews on YouTube, reaching a much wider audience. I work along side two great Godly men who use social media as an avenue for building up the kingdom of God. So we do have an amazing ministry opportunity right at our finger tips. We just have to be careful.

Desiring God recently linked to a John Piper sermon and the heading of the article was entitled “Are you too drunk to pray?” At first glance one might think they could skip over this because they don’t drink and it is impossible for them to be “too drunk” to pray. But upon further investigation, the title makes great sense and really ministered to my heart. We can do so much good during the day, but the minute we hit the couch at home, the first thing we run to is this bottle of entertainment and social media via the screens in our homes. We end up getting drunk on technology. I recently experienced this. I got so caught up with my screens this past week, that my prayer life suffered dramatically. It was almost as if I couldn’t focus on anything that was outside of one of my screens. I lost all desire to be in communion with God. My gadgets had become a drug and I couldn’t wait to take another hit. Thankfully, God reveals these things to us. All around me, I was hearing things on Moody Radio or in conversations with friends about sermons they heard speaking to the dangers of technology. God was using technology to speak to me about the dangers of idolizing technology. Funny, right?

Thankfully, God does reveal these things to us.  He desires for us to be in communion with him, and when something is in our life that is preventing that, He desires to reveal that very thing to us.  It really speaks to the grace and love that He has for us.  Instead of allowing us to continue in our sin and to consistently run to other things, He wants us to come back to Him.

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