For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. (Romans 1:21-23)
Paul is talking here about people who intentionally turn away from God and create idols for themselves. People create idols because they can control them, but you cannot control the true God. But really, who wants to worship something they can control? Idolatry isolates us from God’s power and therefore from any meaningful change or transformation. Yet when we worship the true God, we are drawn into God’s presence, his creative power, and things begin to change.
These days, people don’t create idols out of stone or metal and bow down to them…or do they? Perhaps the old gods have simply changed their clothes. The gods of money, sex, pleasure, and power are still among us, and we are often tempted to worship them. So take a moment and run a quick inventory of the desires of your heart. What are the things you are always thinking about? What consumes your free time? What draws you away from a deep and meaningful relationship with your Creator? These may very well be your idols, and whatever your idols are, you need to smash them! Return to God, and God will return to you.
Almighty God, forgive me for the idols I have worshiped, the things that draw me away from you. Even though I don’t physically bow to idols of wood or stone, I confess that I’ve put my trust in the things of this world rather than in you and you alone. So here, Lord, I return to you. Return to me so that we can enjoy true intimacy with one another. You are my God, and I am your child. Let nothing get between us!