Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14 (NASB)
Idolatry comes in many forms, and idolatry can hide behind otherwise respectable things. We can idolize people, objects, reputation, positions, status, jobs, money, sex, life, health, feelings, our body, time, ourselves, being right, having our own way, drugs, alcohol, and about any other thing you can think of.
God’s Word is clear on what we are to do when faced with something or someone we worship, and that is to run away from it, flee, bail, put distance between it and us. We are not to entertain the object of our worship for one moment longer than it takes us to recognize the longing within ourselves to possess it.
Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NASB)
If only this command were taken seriously by everyone who reads it! Fleeing immorality goes beyond avoiding strip clubs or massage parlors or pornographic movie outlets. The Greek word is pornea, and means sexual immorality of any kind. Immorality begins in the heart of a man or a woman and must be dealt with there first. Don’t buy the lie that you are not hurting anyone by consensual sexual immorality or by masturbation. Sinning with your body is sinning against your body and it will quickly become your master and you its slave.
God created sexual desires to be enjoyed in the context of marriage only, despite the modern voices of this world; and marriage between a man and a woman (one of each) in contrast to what the progressive liberal voices want us to believe.
When faced with an opportunity for sexual immorality, you must flee!
Flee from false doctrine and teachings that are designed to lead you to live by your feelings. There are a plethora of teachings today that are leading many astray. This is not new, Scripture from the past speaks into the present age.
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 1 Tim. 6:3-5
So many churches are filled with heresy and teachings and doctrines of demons. The idols of freedom from pain and suffering are lifted up every single day on religious television. The idols of importance and self-indulgence are exalted routinely by so many false teachers, because that is what itching ears desire to hear! Unless what is being taught comes right from the Bible and follows a sound hermeneutic, you must flee!
Flee from a love of money. Money is not the problem, your heart is the problem. The heart that loves money and all the earthly treasures that money can bring is the real problem here. It is for money that drugs are dealt, people are sold into a life of bondage, gambling takes over lives, humans and animals are killed, marriages are destroyed, and ambitions run wild.
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Tim 6:9-10
These are some of the saddest issues I see people dealing with, and usually it is the results of chasing after money. I see women and children hurt and torn apart; literally pierced through with many griefs because of a love of money. Flee this aspect of idolatry! Desire less, live within your means, sacrifice, go without, do what it takes not to be mastered by the need or want of money.
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NASB)
Flee from the evil and foolish desires of youth. So much of youthful behavior is reckless and ungodly now. Every age has had its own version of “reckless and ungodly” but I believe it is safe to say that the temptations facing the young people of today are beyond those of our predecessors. Gang violence, drugs, music, culture and all that surrounds our youth seems to be designed to perpetuate unrighteousness and ungodliness. The truth is, young people today are just as much sinners as those squeaky clean kids of the 1940’s and 1950’s because the human heart has not changed one bit for the better.
What seems to be happening though, is adults don’t want to be adults. Many desire to remain in a perpetual state of older teenager drinking and drugging their way through life, talking foolish talk and living unproductive lives, being completely self-absorbed and selfish.
Scripture commands us to flee from these foolish desires of the heart and to live lives that are productive and benefit others. All of these idols are created in the idol factory of the heart that resides within each of us, no one is exempt.
God is the only One who can change the heart from one of stone to one of flesh, and from a heart that is completely self-focused to one that is God-focused and desirous to serve and glorify Him and Him alone.
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NASB)