In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller strives to help us see the dangers of idols and the superior love, sacrifice, and worth of Jesus. After reading through the introduction and first chapter, I am seeing once again the sneaky power of “incomplete joy(s) of this world” that we try to build our lives on. Living in Thailand makes it very easy to think of idols as merely handcrafted statues that receive the worship of billions of people. However, there are deeper roots in idolatry that every soul on earth must recognize and sever. These idols receive God-status in our hearts in the form of money, sex, power, fame, status, family, ministry and many others. These things alone are neutral and even good gifts from God, it is when we love them more than God that they receive misplaced worship and begin to enslave us.
“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
I hope that as I read through this book and think on the scriptures I will become more aware of my own idols that I have erected in my heart, counterfeit gods that will always leave me unsatisfied and never bring glory to my great redeemer who deserves all my rest, worship, and desire. But I must be more than aware, I must repent and rest in God with faith filled thanksgiving worship. I must know and believe that he has saved me from all that seeks to destroy me and saves all good gifts from me lifting them up higher than God. Not only are our idols unable to produce peace, joy, and love, they are unable to stand up or bear the burden of our insatiable worship, especially the people idols in our lives; husbands, wives, children, friends, pastors, teachers etc. So not only does our idolatry offend God and leave us joyless, it causes us to hurt those we love dearly. Only our infinite and eternal God is able to bear the weight of our crushing longings and eternal desires.