Worship involves truth. That is, if I put anything on a pedestal and rely on it to meet my needs in any way, I’ve put myself in the realm of falsehood. Not only is my idol a false god, but I believe a lie when assuming it will do anything real and lasting in my life.
Paul wrote, “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8) because he had learned that lies and loving God are polar opposites. No one can worship and serve God and at the same time entertain that which is false. Jesus said . . .
The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23–24)
I’ve realized that whenever I put myself, another person, or any valued thing on a pedestal, I’m also failing in some way to deal with reality. I must lie to myself or believe a lie in order to dethrone God. It has always been like this in the lives of His people too . . .
For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law . . . (2 Chronicles 15:3)
During this period of their history, Israel needed a fresh dose of the truth. In their distress, God sent them truth and, “As soon as Asa heard . . . the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord . . . And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul . . . They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.” (2 Chronicles 15:8, 12–15)
Putting God on the throne always involves seeking Him, and in seeking Him, the people were seeking truth. That is, truth and God are inseparable. “The Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King . . .” (Jeremiah 10:10)
Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. This means that whenever I dabble in idolatry of any kind, I am also messing around with the enemy instead of resisting him and his lies. He will do anything to keep me from trusting the Lord by telling me lies about myself, about others, about the past, the present and the future, and mostly about God.
Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3) He is the only true God. Every other god that tries to claim my trust is a lie, and not to be trusted. Far better to learn this reality by facing reality than to learn it the hard way by being deceived into believing lies.