Ignoring Idols, Killing Kings: Time to kill the king

OK, just as an aside to start off – for all the Secret Service and CIA agents who stumbled here after seeing “kill the king” pop up, just know the ideas here are about metaphorically “killing” things in our lives that we have allowed to become “kings.” No one, least of all me, is advocating the actual assassination of political figures. I’m not a fan of armed men in black suits knocking on my door to “ask me some questions.” Now that’s cleared up …

What did Ehud do to make changes? He did not ignore the idols. He saw that the Moabite idols were occupying the place of worship that belonged to Jehovah and it spurned him to action. He knew that it was at the point, where something had to be done. He could not just say, “OK, from here on out I promise God we are not worshiping idols again.” No, see Israel was under the rule of an idol worshiping king and they would follow that king. He had to be dealt with. The king had to die for the people to move forward.

Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus saying that no one can serve two masters. You will hate the one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. Jesus draws a distinction between money and God, but we all know that principles stretches far past money. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and follow Him. The rich young ruler went away sad, why because he had a lot of stuff and not only was it an idol in his life, it had become his king. It ruled the choices he made. He could not part with his possessions to follow Jesus because his possessions held ultimate sway over his choices.

Who’s the king of your life? What rules the decisions you make? The easy, quick, “don’t think about it too long answer” is Jesus, but think about the excuses you make for things in your life. You’ve felt God call you to do something. You know it is God leading you in a certain direction, but for some reason you are tempted to go the other way. What excuses do you offer? While we looked through many questions that help us to determine the idols in our lives, the question of excuses helps us see the kings that control us.

What do you tell God?

“I can’t do that, it’s too expensive.” Money idol. Money king.

“I don’t want to go to that Bible study or visit that person, I’ll miss my favorite TV show.” Entertainment idol. Entertainment king. [As an aside here, do you plan your life around what time a certain show comes on? Do you miss church because of the big race or an important game? Those are fairly obvious “hints” that you have another king besides Jesus.]

“I would do that, but I don’t think my boyfriend/girlfriend would like that?” Relationship idol. Relationship king.

“If I did that, what would my friends think of me.” Friends idol. Friend king. Or Approval idol. Approval king.

“Sure I would help serve in that way, but I need some me-time.” Leisure idol. Leisure king. Or Self idol. Self king.

I’m not a camping person. Shocking, I know. But recently my family went camping at the beach. In the summer. In a tent. We had two tiny battery powered fans. That was it. It was blazing. I so missed the sweet cool breeze generated by my air conditioner. There is a reason God allowed us to develop that technology – to use it! But how far should I let my desire for personal comfort reign over decisions in my life? Should I refuse to go camping with my family because “it doesn’t suit me?”

What about with God? If he calls me to the jungles of South America, the plains of Africa or the islands of South Asia, would I, could I, let something so silly as air conditioning prevent me from taking the Gospel to those people there.

I believe there is a movement brewing among many who are tired of letting other kings keep us from spreading the message of the true King to the world. In their song “Follow You” with Brandon Heath, Leeland puts it so perfectly:

You live among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy
For me to turn away

All my needs You have supplied
When I was dead You gave me life
So how could I not give it away so freely?
And I’ll

Follow You into the homes of the broken
Follow You into the world
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
Follow You into the world

Use my hands use my feet
To make Your kingdom come

To the corners of the earth
Until Your work is done

Faith without works is dead
On the cross Your blood was shed
So how could we not give it away so freely?

Follow You into the homes of the broken
Follow You into the world
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
Follow You into the world

One king that has ruled in far too many American churches and Christians is the American dream. The idea of creating a “better life” for me and my family has hindered the spread of the Gospel to our neighbors across the street and around the globe. In his book Radical, David Platt calls on believers to stop chasing the symbols of status in our culture and start seeking to live radically committed to Christ and His mission of reaching the world for God’s glory.

What’s the idol or idols in your life that you have been ignoring, hoping they’ll go away? They don’t. They become kings and they rule you. You become their slave. What action is God calling you to today? You see the idols in your life. It’s time to be like Ehud. Those idols do not belong in your life. You life belongs to Christ. The Holy Spirit bringing those idols to light in your life should inspire you to kill the false kings in your life to let the true King reign.

We are not like ancient Israel in one important respect, we do not have to wait for God to raise up a deliverer to save us. He has already done that – in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

For those of us who are followers of Christ, have we exchanged Him for another king, a false king, an idol that we’ve ignored? It can happen so easily without us even noticing it. It can be something good in our lives that we have elevated to being the best. It can be a sin that we refuse to let go of.

Idols need to be exposed and kings need to be dethroned. That can only happen if you replace the false object of worship and service with the only true Object of our worship and service. Who will say, I’m done ignoring the idols in my life, I’m killing all the false kings and I’m surrendering everything to Christ? Who is up to the hard challenge of idol hunting and king killing?

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About Author

Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.