Do you have an idol in your heart? Now, before you say no, let us define idolatry and see what it means today.
In ancient times, idolatry was the worship of idols or the use of idols to represent the "gods" people believed in. Such idols were carved images in various forms made of stones and wood, and the rich folks touted silver and golden ones. Idolatry was practiced by many ancient cultures, by both the worshippers of the only true God, Yahweh, and worshippers of false gods.
Yahweh forbade His people, Israel, to practice idolatry. They were not to worship any idols of other "gods," nor to represent Him by any image. Since Yahweh is an invisible Spirit whom no person has ever seen, we cannot possibly use any kind of image to adequately represent Him. Moreover, to worship an idol that represents Him would put us in the place of the creator and God in the place of the created creature.
Today, people generally do not worship idols or use idols to represent Yahweh. Yet, many of us are guilty of idolatry. We commit the underlying sins of idolatry: a) redefining God and then worshipping what we have redefined, and b) holding people or things in higher esteem than Yahweh.
While we do not carve actual, physical idols to represent Yahweh, we do create "spiritual idols" by redefining who God is and how He should behave. When we redefine Yahweh and think of Him other than what He has revealed to us about Himself in His Word, we create spiritual idols in our hearts to represent Him. This is idolatry of today.
Other idols in our hearts may be people or things, or even our own selves, that we value more than we value God. Such idols could be our family or friends, our job, or our reputation.
Do you or anyone you know commit the following forms of idolatry?
a) Judging the actions of Yahweh
Have you ever said, "If I were God, I would do so and so, or not do so and so"? Personally, I've heard, "If I were God, I would have prevented terrible things from happening to people, like the kidnapping of the three Cleveland, Ohio girls who had been locked up, raped, and beaten for a decade."
But the thing is: you are not God. When we question Yahweh's actions, we are redefining how God should behave or act. When we say how God should act, we are judging Him according to our own moral standards and limited knowledge. We are using our own morality as the measuring stick to judge God.
Does an ant have the right to use their own moral standards as a measuring stick to judge us? If not, then how much less right do we, the created creature, have in judging God, the Creator, and using our own sinful morality of all standards? This is among the worst kinds of idolatry we commit against Yahweh today: judging how He should behave according to our own limited morality, understanding, and knowledge.
b) Focusing only on the attributes of Yahweh we like and disregarding the rest
Which qualities of Yahweh have you heard people constantly emphasize, without mentioning the others? Do they not include love, grace, and mercy? But are these attributes the only ones that Yahweh possesses? Is He not the God of wrath, judgment, justice, and righteousness, as well?
Many of us just like to think of Yahweh as a loving God who loves every person unconditionally, and that He will forgive the worst sinners down to every last person. At the same time, we ignore the fact that Yahweh is also a God of justice. Due to His justice, He will pour out His wrath on unrepentant sinners, who will be severely judged in the future. Simply put, we recreate God by focusing on only the attributes we prefer and ignoring the attributes that we find unfavorable in our own eyes. This is another form of spiritual idolatry that we are committing.
c) Switching Yahweh with Jesus Christ
Do you believe that Yahweh is Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ is Yahweh? If so, you would believe that it was Yahweh who came to Earth and was crucified for our sins. You would also believe that Jesus was the God who gave the Mosaic Law to Israel, including the "ten commandments."
However, the Bible clearly identifies Yahweh and Jesus as separate Beings, each with their own unique will and roles to play. Yahweh God is the Father, while Jesus is the Son, subordinate to the Father. Yahweh calls Jesus "my servant," while Jesus calls Yahweh "my God." Would God call Himself (or anyone else for that matter) "my God?" If He would, then "His God" is higher than He--so how could God be God? But the truth is that Yahweh is the most supreme Being in the universe, "the only true God," as Jesus said (John 17:3), while Jesus is His Son. "Father" and "son" are never the same person.
The worst kind of idolatry is switching the identity of Yahweh with Jesus Christ or saying that Yahweh and Jesus are one and the same. This is also the number one idolatry that most churches are committing today. To make it easier to confuse Yahweh with Jesus, church leaders have altogether removed the name "Yahweh" from their vocabulary, so every time they mention God, they either leave Him nameless or call Him "Jesus." But this grave sin falls heaviest on the shoulders of the translators of our modern English Bible versions for replacing all nearly-7000 instances of God's name with the generic title of "Lord" and "God." Yes, whenever you come across "Lord" in the Old Testament, know that ninety-nine percent of the time it was originally "YHWH," from which we get "Yahweh" and the English transliteration of "Jehovah."
How would you feel if you were the president of a country and you send an ambassador to represent you but people call him by your name and treat him as the president instead? So how do you think God would feel when we worship his servant, Jesus, in place of Him?
nor my praise to engraved images." (Isaiah 42:8, WEB)
Yet, we have given His glory to His Son. This has become our biggest spiritual engraved image in our heart, which we must cast away.
A while back, I introduced to you the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; to refresh your memory of their unique attributes, positions, and responsibilities, read the archived newsletter issue at:
d) Worshipping other than Yahweh
If your family or friends encourage or order you to do something that is against Yahweh's will, whom will you heed, them or God? If you witness a loved one committing a crime, would you do the right thing in accordance with God's will by reporting it to the police, or would you keep quiet as a silent accomplice? In your life, what is your goal: to please those around you, yourself, or your Creator? What is your dream: to make lots of money in order to retire in luxury or spend your time to serve God by serving humanity?
If you choose anyone or anything above God, then you are committing spiritual idolatry. Yahweh should sit on the topmost shelf in our hearts. But many of us have shoved Him to the bottom drawer, underneath all the junks in our lives. We pull Him out only when we need His help--if we can even remember Him at all. And once we got what we wanted from Him, we shove Him back under our rubbish.
Is this how we should worship our Creator? Are we not rather worshipping ourselves, others, and other things in our lives?
So my friend, do you have an idol in your heart? Will you submit to Yahweh's sovereignty and will and praise all of His holy attributes, or will you recreate Him and worship your own creation? Will you love Yahweh with all your heart, mind, and strength, or will you love yourself more?
Any idol you set up in your heart is a stumbling block. It prevents you from having a fulfilling relationship with your Creator. It offers only a false sense of security, where you feel that you are worshipping the true God and will receive His blessing when in fact the opposite is true.
Only when you surrender yourself wholly to Yahweh with all the attributes He has revealed to us and set Him on the number one spot in your heart will you be able to serve Him properly. The question is: will you?
~*~Q&A with Dr. Shirley~*~
Question: What's the point in telling God our desires when they are not according to His will and therefore He will not answer our prayer?
Answer: Yahweh wants an open communication with us where we share with him our desires even if they are not according to His will. We may not get what we ask for, but our reason for telling Him our desires is not to have Him fulfill our desires, but to simply share with Him.
Let's think about it: when you speak with your friends and tell them your problems, do you expect them to be your problem-solvers? If not, then why do we tell our friends our problems since they couldn't really help us? We tell them simply because they are our friends and we need to share our hearts with them. Likewise, one reason we pray to God should simply be for the sake of sharing, as between friends. We shouldn't go to God only when we expect Him to help us. We should go to God in prayers for all reasons and for "no good reason." We should share our joy and our sorrow with Him. He's a Friend who's always there to listen to us. We shouldn't just view Yahweh as our Problem-Solver, but a true Best Friend. This will motivate us to pray to Him, and for the right reasons.
We need to study Jesus' short prayer to his Father before his arrest and execution. He prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire." (Matthew 26:39) Here, Jesus wished that he would not have to suffer what he was about to suffer, and made his desire known to his Father. However, he yielded to his Father's desire (will). If God didn't want Jesus to avoid his suffering, then Jesus would accept his Father's will, not his will. Likewise, we can tell our Father what we desire, but still say, "But let your will be done, not mine, if my desire contradicts yours."
~*~Dr. Shirley's Corner~*~
For a limited time only, the Kindle edition of my book, "Do You Love Jehovah? God Almighty's Infinite Love & Wisdom to Propel You to Greatness" is available on Amazon for only $2.99, down from $6.99! If you don't have a Kindle--no problem, Amazon has free Kindle Apps so you can read any Kindle ebooks on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. So grab an electronic copy of "Do You Love Jehovah?" at:
On that page, you have the option to give the book as a gift, where the ebook will be delivered to the recipient. Father's Day is coming up; why not give your Dad a book that will introduce to him the Source of true wealth and joy: Yahweh?
More about the book...
Ever wondered where you came from and where you will go? Is your life more than the cradle and grave? Your origin, purpose, and future do not have to be enigmas. "Do You Love Jehovah?" the inspirational Christian book by blind and physically disabled author Shirley Cheng, will help you discover your purpose and gently direct your way to align with the most sacred will: that of your Life-Giver, Jehovah (Yahweh).
Besides answering life's colossal questions, "Do You Love Jehovah?" clears up some of the most commonly misunderstood teachings about the Bible, such as:
• Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? How about the Holy Spirit?
• What happens after we die? Do we have an immortal soul?
• Since Jesus died for us, does that mean we will automatically enter the Kingdom of God?
• Are we predestined?
• Why does God allow suffering and wickedness?
• What will happen to the wicked? Will they burn for eternity in hell?
"...this book deserves to sit on the shelf next to the Bible...Shirley has all of the properties, emotions, logic and spiritual being that (Jehovah) was hoping to instill in each one of us. Shirley may be in a wheelchair, but has walked the universe. She may be blind but see's the true color and beauty in the world..." -Jan Hayner, Professional Organizer, Motivational Speaker and Personal Coach
"(Shirley) could preach a sermon with the best of the 18th century preachers." -Laura Evans, United Methodist Church Pastor’s Wife, Certified Instructor
"In poetic prose Shirley describes the nature of God and the character of Christ with clarity, emotion, and passion. She boldly addresses traditional church doctrine giving her own personal insight and interpretation logically, using a common sense analysis. In a concise, yet complete, Bible summary, Cheng covers important events and a review of the important themes of the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation." -Dr. Richard R. Blake, Former Instructor at Bay Cities Bible College
"Do You Love Jehovah? is well worth considering for Christian readers." -Midwest Book Review
"Do You Love Jehovah?" has garnered seven book awards, including:
Gold – Mom’s Choice Awards – Spirituality/Religion
Finalist – 2010 International Book Awards – Christian Inspirational
Finalist – National Best Books 2009 Awards – Christianity
Finalist – National Indie Excellence 2010 Awards – Religion
Second Place – 2010 Written Art Awards – Religion/Spirituality
Honorable Mention – Reader Views 2009 Literary Awards – Religion (Eastern/Western)
Are you interested in obtaining in-depth knowledge of God's Word to help you deepen your understanding of God and His plans and develop a sacred relationship with your Heavenly Father? If so, you are more than welcome to sign up for the In-Depth Ultra-Ability Bible Virtual Class via e-mail.
· You will study the Bible in depth from Genesis to Revelation in order.
· The study will progress in your own pace.
· You will work one-on-one with me via e-mail only.
· Your personal Bible-related questions will be answered.
· Although the virtual class has no financial cost, it will require your dedication and diligence. There will be lessons to complete and tests to take for all Bible chapters. All assignments are in short question and answer format.
· The only textbook for this program is the Bible. If you do not have a copy of the Bible, you can read it online for free at www.BibleGateway.com.
· The class is non-denominational and is not affiliated with any church or ministry.
· You have no obligations; you may pause or stop anytime, though you are strongly encouraged to complete the study.
Interested? Then fill out the form at http://www.ultra-ability.com and we'll get started. I look forward to our study time together!
May the grace and peace from Yahweh God and Jesus Christ be with you.!
Content Copyright by Dr. Shirley Cheng; All rights reserved
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Dr. Shirley Cheng
Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Founder of Ultra-Ability Ministry
Proclaimer of Yahweh God's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Author/Contributor/Editor of 35 books by age 27, Bible Teacher, Poet, Motivational Speaker, Self-Empowerment Expert, Advocate
Board member of World Positive Thinkers Club
"Although I'm blind, I can see far and wide; even though I'm disabled, I can climb high mountains. Let the ropes of hope in Yahweh God haul you high!"
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