Fixated or Fixation: the state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another human, an animal, or an inanimate object. (Wikipedia) Acquire an obsessive attachment to: (Webster)

 What does it mean to be human? The scientific community has given us the Latin name: Homo sapiens: according to Wiktionary this is from Latin homo (“human being, man”) + sapiens (“wise, sensible, judicious”) We consider ourselves wise, sensible and judicious. And yet, Idolatry is part of the human condition. It is as old as humanity itself. Did you have to study Greek mythology? I suppose we all did. It is part of our culture. The days of the week are named after these deities. Tuesday – Mars the god of war; Wednesday – Mercury the god of commerce; Friday – Venus the god of love and beauty. When we think of idolatry, we think of statues and objects. However, consider what the gods we just listed represented. They represent things that even now men and women devote their lives to. When a person devotes his/herself to beauty or Aphrodite, there is no end to the surgery, dieting, exercising and products that can be part of the sacrifice. Aphrodite can be a terrible task master. Some damage their health to look better, taking steroids or harmful drugs. Others become enslaved to the point that the condition known as anorexia develops. When a person makes the pursuit of profit their sole purpose in life, do they not demonstrate what they are willing to sacrifice to Hermes, giving up family and children? The ancients gave names to the deities and we no longer recognize them by their names, but we still serve the same deities. We sacrifice health, family, children, integrity and our souls for the things these deities represent.


 We call ourselves wise, sensible and judicious. We pursue wealth, position, peace, beauty and happiness with all we are. And yet, we live in a world where many of us are Struggling, Hurting, Stressing, Cheating, Spending, Worrying, Medicating and Avoiding? What is the cause of the worry and stress around us? Our world is fixated or obsessed with so many things that promise happiness. Our gods have failed us, and sold us into slavery.

 Jesus taught that the first commandment is the most important commandment. The first commandment is: “You must not have any other god but me.” (Exodus 20:3, New Living Translation) This rule has to do with why we were created. It has to do with who we are. We were created to have a relationship with God. What is more, we do not break any of the other 10 commandments without breaking this one first. I believe that this is the problem; not just a problem, but the problem. I believe that the reason we are Struggling, Hurting, Stressing, Cheating, Spending, Worrying, Medicating and Avoiding is found in this commandment. Therefore, I believe that the answer to finding freedom from the worry, fears and struggles of our present day lies in this commandment. This is the most important commandment. The Bible puts it positively: “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” (Deut. 6:5, NLT)

 I have been influenced by two books recently. The first one is “Gods at War”, by Kyle Idleman; and the second is “Counterfeit Gods”, by Timothy Keller. I recommend reading either of these books for a fuller treatment of the subject, and I must give credit to these men for places where I have borrowed directly from their books and for stimulating my thinking on this subject.

As humans we will give our lives to something. For example, if a person makes acquiring wealth their goal, they will end up serving money, fixated on it. If a person makes being accepted their goal, they will end up serving those they try to appease. We have a name for this, we call it codependency. Anything that we cannot live without will end up controlling us. Our hearts become fixed on the object or objects we trust for our happiness, security or success. We end up serving these things that have now taken the place of God. For example if we need to feel secure, and money makes us feel secure, we will pursue money. But, a different person will seek security in a relationship with the opposite sex, so they will pursue relationships. As we look at the heart in each of these scenarios we see we are trusting in something other than God to meet our deepest need. We are looking to this object to be our Savior. This is what idolatry is. Every one of us will look to something or a number of things to meet our deepest needs. Every one of us will serve a god or many gods. It is the way we are created. We each have a soul hunger that can only be satisfied in the one true God, the God we were created for. It is not a question of if we have idols in our hearts. I believe it is a lifelong process of allowing God to show us what our idols are.

 Romans 1:21-25 puts it this way: “They knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen." (NLT)


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