The apostle John ended his first epistle with this simple, but direct, admonition: “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” (1 Jn. 5:21). This neither an idle warning nor an admonition only for ancient times.
While we don’t have too many people worshiping statuary representing various deities today—not too many, but there are still some—no, most idolatry today is of the kind God warned Ezekiel about, saying, “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts” (Ezek. 14:3).
Today’s idols are mostly of the “in your heart” kind. Many, maybe even we ourselves, have set up many things in our hearts through which we seek satisfaction and meaning, comfort and security, guidance and purpose in life. People turning to the state, to science, to sports, to possessions, to sexual gratification, and other things like them, instead of to God—is a form of idolatry.
As God warned Ezekiel when we set up as these things as “idols in the hearts,” they are “stumbling blocks of iniquity” that we “put before our face” (Ezek. 14:3-7).
To be faithful, we need to have God-centered and God-directed lives. Resist the temptation to set in our hearts anything else for our satisfaction, comfort, security, and guidance in life.