Idolatry is to love what has been made more than the God who made it.
In Exodus 20:3-5, God gives Israel this command: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
It is easy to label an idol as some wooden or bronze statue, or a golden cow, or something else like that. And certainly, such things could be idols; however, an idol is much more than that. An idol is anything you put in front of God.
Ezekiel 14:3 says that “men have set up idols in their hearts,” meaning that their internal priorities are wrong. Today, although probably very few people in Western culture still bow down to statues or other such physical idols, many people bow down to idols “in their hearts.”
For example, money and status are things that we often place ahead of God. However, God is “a jealous God,” and He demands first place in your life. Therefore, take to heart the instruction found in 1 John 5:21: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
Christians are supposed to be the light of the world, but you can’t be a light if you’re not plugged in.
Jesus calls us, his disciples, the light of the world: You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).
However, that requires spending time in God’s presence. Psalm 91:1-2 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” The rest of Psalm 91 goes on to list amazing promises that will come true in your life if you fulfill the first two verses; that is, if you dwell in God’s presence and confidently trust in Him.
In order to be a light to the world, we must stay plugged in to God by dwelling in His presence.