Years ago, in the heat of my battle with negative thoughts, the Lord revealed something to me.
1 John 5:21 (AMP) says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life].”
Negative thoughts become our idols when:
- We believe them more than we believe God and His Truth
- We continually think about, ponder, and entertain them instead of thinking about, pondering, and entertaining God and His Truth
- We act out our life by adjusting our behaviors towards others or ourselves according to our negative thoughts
- We act out by choosing behaviors to fuel them (make them stronger) and affirm them (prove and confirm they are true to us)
One definition of worship in the dictionary is “showing devotion to”. We “show devotion to” something by setting ourselves apart for it.
By believing, constantly thinking about, and acting out our negative thoughts we are worshiping them and not God. We find ourselves in the middle of idol worship without even realizing it.
In John 5:5 (AMP), we are told the story of a man who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for 38 years. In John 5:6 (AMP), Jesus notices the man lying there helplessly. Jesus knew the man had been there a long time in that condition. Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]”
We must ask ourselves the same question.
2 John 1:4 (AMP) says, “I was greatly delighted to find some of your children walking (living) in [the] Truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father [Himself].”