God is clear: “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 (Exodus 20:4).”
So what is an idol today? Tim Keller defines it as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
In other words, an idol is a counterfeit god that has such control of your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It’s basically “spiritual adultery.” We can locate them by looking at our daydreams. What are our fondest dreams? AND because idols give us a sense of control in life, we can locate them by looking at our nightmares. What do we fear the most? Because they replace God as lord of our lives we can locate idols by looking at our most unyielding emotions. What makes us uncontrollably angry or anxious?