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#09 How to Find Your Idols -Podcast

There are idols that we can see, feel and touch and there are idols of the heart that are easily kept away from the view of others!

In this episode of Now is the Time I give you some tips of how you can find those idols in your life that are keeping you from true worship of the true God.


It’s difficult to find the idols in your life if you don’t have a good understanding of what true worship is.

What is worship?

Just as we often have a limited idea of what idols are we also often connect worship with singing praise songs on Sunday morning and feeling some sort of emotional response. This may be a part of worship it certainly does not define it.

In the Old Testament the main word translated “worship” indicates a prostrate position before a king or ruler. The main New Testament word for “worship” is similar; meaning “to kiss the hand”.

The physical action indicated by the words for worship help us understand what it really is.  I use three words to sum up the main ideas of worship.

  • Honor

The act of prostration is one in which the lesser gives honor to the greater.  Bowing down before a person or a thing indicates that you believe that person to be worthy of praise or you believe that thing to be worth great value.

  • Submission

A prostrate position is not prideful, defensive or defiant, rather it is a sign of submission to a greater authority.

  • Obedience

Obedience to whomever or whatever you worship is the natural outcome of all worship.  This will eventually be seen in every aspect of life.

Finding the Idols

Once we understand what worship is, finding the idols in our life becomes much easier. We must simply and honestly ask ourselves the questions.

  • What or who do I honor?
  • To what or whom do I submit my life?
  • Whose standard of morals does my life represent?


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I highly recommend getting a copy of Timothy Keller’s book

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

I have found this book to be a great tool in understanding the subtle nature of idols of the heart and how to identify those idols in my own life.

Question: What other methods can we use to identify idols in our life?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Great lesson. I’ve had my face in the carpet in prayer more than once… In humility is where we honor our Father and find honor in Him. Praying for you guys.

    • Right on Floyd, we need to get our face to the floor more often as we come before the Almighty God. Thanks for your prayers!

  • Your definition of worship here made me think. After some thoughts, I can honestly say that I’m not worshipping idols, but I also need to question my depth of worship toward God.

    • Worship is something that’s worth thinking about isn’t it. I think we can all improve on the depth of our worship of God.

  • I can usually tell I have an idol if I’m constantly getting emotionally distraught in some area of my life. That usually happens when I’m clutching on to something and feel like I have to have it. I loved the Timothy Keller book on idols. Brad Bigney also wrote one that I haven’t read yet, but it looks good. It’s called Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel With Hidden Idols. I just went to a Christian counseling seminar where he was the speaker and he gave very wise counsel.

    • Barb good point about emotions, they can be key in determining where possible idols lie. Thanks for the suggestion about Brad Bigney’s book.

      Pray for me this week as I get ready to preach on this subject, I feel it is going to be a pivotal sermon.

  • DS

    I think for lots of folks it could be our digital gadgets and “connectivity” as well as our work/careers. One of the things we can do is seek to understand what it is that consumes us.

    • I was just listening to a sermon this morning about idols and I was reminded that the thing idols do to us is that they enslave us. The fact is we will either be a slave to idols or a slave to God. I think the idea of an idol consuming you is similar to the idea of slavery. Thanks for your comment David!

  • Oh, I’m looking forward to listening to this! Last year my wife passed on the book, Idol Lies, by Dee Brestin. It was really good & helped me identity idols that I struggle with. From there I listened to Keller’s teaching on the subject. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Sounds like a good book Dave. I love Keller on idols, there are a couple great sermons of his on Youtube also. Let me know what you think if you have a chance to listen to the podcast.

      • Really good podcast Caleb! Simple and very clear. Nicely done. So you preach in Russian huh? Amazing. It’s one of my goals to peach in Arabic one day. I’m getting there – slowly but surely 🙂

        • Arabic! That would be great! Give it time. I took me at least 2 years to do my first sermon and that was pretty much reading every word. I’ve improved since then but there’s always room to grow.

  • Honor, submission, and obedience . . . amen! I’m trying to challenge myself more on the idols I’m entertaining. Like the times I have a meltdown because the internet isn’t working, or my blog host goes down. Definitely repenting and praying for more balance in those areas.

    • There you go Deb, internet and blog! Yes, unfortunately those can be idols too. I guess the key is to see those things as tools to increase our worship and other’s worship of God.

  • Great Podcast, Caleb!

    I’ve found when we humbly surrender our life to God and His will, He shines His light on the “ideals” that need to be removed.

    • I’m glad you had a chance to listen Dan. I’m preaching this Sunday in our church on the same topic. Hopefully today I’ll record another podcast which will be like the second half of the sermon. I use the podcasts as a way to practice my sermons before I actually preach them. The only difference is that I preach in Russian not English!

      • Me too! It was a good episode. Podcasting is a great way to practice your sermons, your a smart man:) Keeping producing great content!