It seems easy in a world where fame and fortune are seen as the “good life” to place our hearts on something other than God. The empty hole remains in our life when we continue to look for peace and happiness in all the wrong places.
God says, “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:4
What is an idol?
An idol is any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures. An image, form or representation, usually of a man or other animal, consecrated as an object of worship; A person loved and honored to adoration. Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment.
In examining my life, I realize that I’ve been guilty of idol worship. Now, I’m not one to bow down to a statue, but there are more common and subtle forms of idol worship. I ask myself questions like: how do I spend my time? What do I think about all day long? What do I think about my nice stuff? Who do I admire, respect, and follow? All of these can easily become idols and usurp the place of God in my heart.
It is a common tendency for us to get in each other’s way on this journey back to God. Much of it is done with good intentions, but it still gets in the way. Maybe we think that others should accept our beliefs and paradigms because we know what’s right. Someone else’s beliefs might even threaten or make us feel insecure about our own beliefs. A few people feel the need to control and manipulate other’s beliefs as a way of showing they have power and authority over others.
Whatever the reason, we need to stop setting up others and ourselves as idols. It muddies the waters. It prevents us from asking, seeking, and knocking. Idol worship prevents us from coming to know God. Why would we ask a human being when we can ask God?
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Luke 11:9-10
Who are we seeking to find? What do we want to know?
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. Articles of Faith 1:11
Why doesn’t God want anyone to dictate how another person worships or how they believe?
When we adore and follow others, does God see it as idol worship?
Has Jesus ever asked us to follow anyone else? “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27
Even John the Revelator needed to be taught not to worship others. You mean we can’t even worship angels sent from God? “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10
As you read the following parable ask yourself: Am I one of the bulls? Am I one of the cattle drinking dirty water? Or am I willing to go to the Source and drink clean and living water?
"Our Father in Heaven showed to me something like a waking dream . . . I saw a large beautiful fountain of crystal clear water flowing freely from the earth. The water was extremely clean and pure--I could see clear to the bottom of the wide river that was formed. I was very thirsty; and I approached the water and drank. I was immediately filled with the love of God; and I knew these were the Waters of Life--that are free and without cost. I was filled with happiness and love.
I looked to where the waters were flowing and saw a large herd of cattle in the river; and as quickly as I looked, I was with them. There were two herds--a herd of bulls was upstream from the rest of the herd which consisted of bulls, cows, heifers, and calves. I was with the cattle downstream from the bulls; and I was thirsty again. But, when I looked down at the water that was swirling around my legs; I could see only small patches of clean and pure water. I looked upstream and saw that the herd of bulls was churning up sand and silt--they were doing what cattle do when they stand in the middle of a stream--depositing wastes into the water. The cattle downstream were moving back and forth--looking for clean patches of water.
I remembered the fountain of Living Water and headed for the stream bank. As I climbed out of the stream, the other cattle called to me, "Come back. Where are you going?" I replied, "I am going up to the Source--the water is clean and pure there" Then, the herd of bulls saw me and bellowed, "Get back in the herd; the water must pass through us; you must only drink the water that passes through us; you will be deceived and lost" I continued back up to the Source and drank the refreshing water again. I was careful not to pollute the water or stir up any silt.
I looked at the herd of bulls again--they were all facing downstream--away from the source. All they had to do was turn and drink pure water; but they didn't seem to notice the Source. I called out, "Come up to the Source where the water is clean" But, no one would listen or respond." John Hess
The Lord says, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. John 7:37
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 7:17
But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life. Doctrine and Covenants 63:23
Come unto the fountain of living water and receive peace and happiness that has no end.