The bottom line is simple—we were born to worship. We have been created to worship God, but our sinful lusts have driven us to worship and idolize the things of the world. This list is just a few of the things we think, believe, and desire as a result of idolatry.
• Sexual immorality
• Impure thoughts
• Eagerness for lustful pleasure
• Participation in demonic activities
• Outbursts of anger
• My needs must be met
• I must be happy
• I must feel good
• I am entitled to…
Anything that means more to you than God does is idolatry. If the things and people you hold onto are intended to meet your needs and make you feel better they may be idols of your heart. Many of our desires are not wrong but they can become idols because they often come to mean more to us than living life to glorify God. A good definition of idolatry is when you are willing to sin to get what you want. Are you willing to sin to get relief from pain, to be happy, or to attain any of the other feelings mentioned above? If having your felt needs met has become so important to you that you are willing to violate God’s Word to have them, then you have crossed the line from desire to worship. You will know that your desires have become idols when you think on them so often, and desire them so deeply that the focus on them leaves no room for worship of God. Your focus is concentrated so much on gratification of self that being gratified is all that matters to you. The person who is described as having a sexual addiction is really an idolater. Their self-focused desire is fed by ads in magazines, on billboards, and on television that leads them to believe it is not okay to feel sad, unhappy, or “bad.” When someone with an addiction of any kind comes to us we help them to see that what they are really dealing with is an issue of idolatry. This gives them hope right from the start because we are not telling them they have a medical disease that cannot be cured or something they need a pill or some sort of treatment for, they have a sin problem! We are always quick to remind them that Jesus died for sin, even theirs. It is not unforgivable, and while some of their activities have been very unsavory their sins are not beyond the grace of Jesus Christ. The person who struggles this way must have a heart that is affected by the gospel for change to take place.