Idol Worship or Idle Worship?

Idol Worship or Idle Worship?
From the May 2nd reading
What things have you been chasing after? What has drawn your attention and your fervor from Him?
Matthew 19:29
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. (NIV)
  • Earlier Jesus told the rich young man that if he wanted to be perfect then he needed to go sell all that he had. Then to come follow Him. (Vs. 21)
  • In Psalm 106:20 it says they exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass!
  • We exchange our Glory for a green piece of paper or a corner office in a concrete building
  • But those who have walked away from all of that will receive a hundred times more!
  • The disciples had walked away from everything!



  • Anything we worship or value more than Him is idolatry
    • Money
    • Careers
    • Things
    • Pleasure
    • Children
    • Even spouses
  • We need to be willing to follow Him wherever that leads
  • We need to be willing to do anything in order to follow His will
  • Be content and stop chasing better and faster things
  • Stop justifying idolatry!
The following letter was written by a young pastor in Zimbabwe who was later martyred for his faith: I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made—I’m a disciple of his. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must keep going until he comes, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.[i]
Following Jesus is not about joining a church or going to youth group or listening to Christian music. It’s not about wearing Jesus on your T-shirt or putting a fish on your car: it’s about being willing to put your life on the line for Him. The decision to follow Christ is radical, unequivocal, and unmistakable.
In Psalm 106 it says the people of Israel exchanged His Glory “for an image of a bull, which eats grass”! (106:20) I love this picture! If you will remember back in Exodus 32, the Israelites had made a golden calf while Moses was on the mountain with God. He had taken too long, and in their desperation they decided to take things into their own hands. They made a golden idol and began to worship it instead. It is hard for us to imagine why a nation that had just witnessed one incredible miracle after another would choose to worship something that eats grass!
But how many of us have exchanged His “Glory” for a cheaper imitation? As humans we are famous for chasing after things and other people. We chase after “green paper” and corner offices. We pursue things that do not last, and people that can not meet all of our needs or expectations.
Jesus calls us to a life where we are willing to put our life on the line for Him – a radical life! Not the life that we have bought into – the life of greed and always wanting more. But His call does not come without promises. One author explains Matthew 20:29 this way: “Jesus now extends his encouragement to all his self-sacrificing disciples. The promise is not literal (one cannot have one hundred mothers). God is no man’s debtor: if one of Jesus’ disciples has, for Jesus’ sake, left, say, a father, he will find within the messianic community a hundred who will be as a father to him—in addition to inheriting eternal life.”[ii] God never calls us to radical obedience without some type of reward. Not that we do it for the reward, but it is good to know that God recognizes and rewards the faithfulness of His children.
So, what banner will you carry? When Christ returns will He have any trouble recognizing you? Or will you be too busy chasing the things that this world has to offer?
Pray that God will show you where your idols are. That He will reveal to you what you have been chasing after. And then confess and put those things aside for Him.
If you would like help in growing in your faith, or if you would like to know how to have faith in Him, then please contact us at (928)636-2949 or email me at
[i] Youth Specialties Hot Illustrations: Radical Faith
[ii] Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 8. P. 426

2 Responses to “Idol Worship or Idle Worship?”

  1. Christine Brann says:

    It always turns to joy when obeying the Most High God. The closer one draws to Him the easier it gets. His Word is a joy and delight of my heart. And I thank Him.

  2. Richard Johnson says:

    Awesome! It is so easy to Be thrown off course by The Wiley and wicked one. The plain truth is I need to stay busy for God’s glory. Thank you.

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