When we think of idols, images and objects people worship, such as statues, come to mind. Yet, in our day, idols are usually ones determined by our motives. In that case, we are focusing on an idol to meet our God-given needs that He alone is sufficient to meet. For example, one very popular idol is achievements.
Let me be clear. God designed us to achieve the plans and purposes He created for us in Christ. I have an entire chapter on this in my book, “God’s Best-Kept Secret.” Ephesians 2:10 explains it clearly, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. These can be achieved for God’s glory through the resurrection power of Christ living through us!
With that in mind, how can achievements get so twisted that they become idols? They become idols when we use achievements as the source of our significance rather than the significance we have from our identity in Christ! Using achievements to try to meet our God-given needs is a work of the flesh, not the Holy Spirit.
Do you know what the flesh is? Let me first share what it is not. The flesh is not the old self (nature, man). The old self is who you are in Adam before your co-death, burial, resurrection, and seating with Christ. The old self was dead towards God but alive towards sin, satan, and the world system. That person no longer exists for we who are in Christ.
The flesh is the feelings, behaviors, and attitudes that result from the lies we believe about God, ourselves, others, and how life works. At GLI, God works through us to help people uncover these in our conferences, counseling, and coaching.
When the flesh is behind our achievements, it is for our own glory because we use them to make us feel more loveable, acceptable, valuable, secure, and belongable (Yes, I made that word up!). But those feelings are short-lived. They are like water in a cup with a hole in it. You have to work harder and harder to try to fill it each day. That’s why achievements can become an addiction that causes us to feel driven! We know it’s the flesh because the Holy Spirit leads us but never drives us! For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Romans 8:14).
The more we understand God’s amazing thoughts about us, the less we will use achievements or anything else to meet our God-given needs. Why? Because we will realize more and more that our cups are already full in Christ! To dive deeper, please click here to get a free download from our website about how special your identity is in Christ.
© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)