In Hollywood, major celebrities who draw massive crowds create a security nightmare. In a huge mix of people, the star can be almost impossible to protect. One way to remedy this is to create a decoy – a person that loosely resembles the celebrity – to draw away the flashing cameras. Needless to say, the paparazzi are quite upset when they learn they’re chasing a decoy. As Christians, are we actually content with the decoy?
Many of us want to know God, but an idol leads us off in the wrong direction, like a decoy. The Apostle Paul describes idol worshiping as those who have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25) Do we love His creations more than we love Him? Do we direct most of our love to a person other than Jesus? Do we think more about a particular hobby than we do God’s word? Do we crave the security payday brings over the comfort of God’s promises?
In Ezekiel 14, idol worshiping elders of Israel came to Ezekiel, hoping for a word from the Lord. However, the Lord said He will set His face against “anyone of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of iniquity before His face…” (Ezekiel 14:4) If we feel distant from God or our recent prayers seem unanswered, could it be because we’re spending more time with the decoy meant to distract us than God Himself?
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in Your ways.” (Psalm 119:37) According to David, there are things in life that simply have no value and offer no life. The Apostle Paul says he’s died to those worthless things, stating, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3) If Paul lived today, he may say, “I’m dead to believing any one person can make my life perfect; dead to endless hours of TV; dead to looking at my bank account for peace and comfort.” If we only look to God’s creations for satisfaction, we’ll be left unfulfilled and empty, much like if we were hoping to meet our favorite movie star only to learn it’s merely a decoy.