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Christianized Idolatry

Have you ever felt a longing in your soul that never seems to be satisfied?

Have you ever stepped back and said, “Is this it? Is this all there is?”

The emptiness of my soul pushes me to move, toward something or someone. I’ve filled it with food, and movies, and scrolling on Facebook. I’ve had “me time” and taken hot showers and long Epsom salt baths. I have turned to my husband and tried to fill it with relationship. And still emptiness. And I tell myself that those things aren’t necessarily wrong; and they aren’t. So why do I still feel emptiness? Even if I read my Bible, it’s still there sometimes.

But what do all those things, wrapped up into a neat package, offer? Satisfaction to my senses. As I look around my world, I see the idolatry of the senses: taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell. Does food satisfy me? No, but it appeals to my taste, and therefore I turn to it for comfort. Is a fragrance bath going to fix my heart’s hole? No, but it appeals to my touch and smell.

Our world has created idols out of our senses. Pornography appeals to the sight, sugar appeals to the taste, music appeals to the ears, sex appeals to the touch, and on and on it goes. It’s what culture craves; it’s what controls them. It’s what they are addicted to. And those who sit in the church pews week in and week out are addicted to satisfying those senses, too. The credit card debt stacks up because we have to have it now. We couldn’t possibly give up junk food because it makes us feel good and we like how it tastes and it’s just too hard to go without it.

But they don’t satisfy. Not really. We think they'll make us happy, but happiness isn't the goal.

Why? Because we are to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Spiritual, not physical. Glorifying God, not glorifying ourselves through our personal desires and feelings.

God created us with our senses, of course. We see His creation with our eyes and it points us to Him (Romans 1:20). He has given us all things to eat without condemnation (Genesis 9:3, Acts 10:9-16), and we can enjoy the process of eating and food tasting good. He has created sexuality within marriage to be holy and enjoyable (Hebrew 13:4). Our ears are gifts wherein we can hear music that glorifies God and teaches us (Colossians 3:16), and hearing is the means God uses to help us understand the gospel (Romans 10:14).

Yet when we take two steps too far and turn to our senses rather than God to satisfy, we have become idol worshipers. And we will face emptiness time and time again.

Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” Righteousness does not leave you wanting. Righteousness satiates your soul.

So, bring your body under subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27). “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19, emphasis mine). So, don’t “treat yourself.” You don’t deserve to be glorified. God does. Put the credit card away. The chocolate isn’t going to make you feel better.

“[Because] you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20, emphasis mine).

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