Occasionally I read a book that turns my world upside down. This is one such book. In Gods at War, Kyle Idleman defines and explains idolatry at its deepest level, yet uses down-to-earth language, heart-felt stories, and humor to connect with his readers.
Idleman introduces the subject of idolatry, worshiping false gods, by using case studies to help define it and explain why it’s necessary to identify idols in our lives.
“A god is what we sacrifice for and what we pursue.”
The author asks pointed questions to help us spot gods in our lives. These aren’t surface questions like: Do you worship money? Instead he asks the reader to look at bank statements to analyze spending habits. He also asks questions like:
“Where do you go when you’re hurting?”
“What worries you?”
Idleman helps readers see how the past and the culture influence which gods we worship and explains that God is jealous and does not want to share His throne with other gods.
After laying this groundwork, Idleman pinpoints nine different gods classified into three categories, the temple of pleasure, the temple of power, and the temple of love.
What I found eye-opening was the level to which idols root and where they can be found. For instance, I already knew food was an idol. However, I was unaware that, at times, food is a means to a different end, pleasure. For more on this, read this post.
Moreover, I unearthed other idols in my life. In an earlier post, I wrote, “I have been feeling frazzled, stressed, and agitated, an indication that something is amiss.” My schedule has been tight and I haven’t accomplished the goals I set for myself. I knew there was a problem but couldn’t identify it. Then I read this:
“Goals can become gods. You start to serve them, live for them, and sacrifice for them.” (Gods at War)
I allowed my schedule and goals to rule my life. In the midst of a hectic summer, I have been kneeling before a false god, the god of achievement.
At the end of each of the nine “god of . . .” chapters, Idleman reminds us that:
“Idols are defeated not by being removed but by being replaced.”
“Until that god is dethroned, and the Lord God takes his rightful place, you will not have victory.”
I highly recommend this book. It will change your life. For more information or to order this book, click here.