We must always be aware of the fact that there is a constant lure toward idolatry in our demonically-oppressed world. It is profoundly easy to be getting all one’s life from Christ and to be completely free of idols one day, but begin to be gripped by idol cravings the next. It’s also really easy not to notice that this has happened!
This is why getting life from Christ is a discipline – a daily choice. The call to get life from Christ and revolt against the idolatry of the flesh isn’t something we can do once and be done with it. Rather, it’s a practice that we must, with God’s help, strive to make a permanent characteristic of our life. We all need to have regular times where we experience intimate, life-giving communion with Christ and we all need to cultivate a moment-by-moment surrendered awareness of God’s life-giving presence.
If you find that your sense of being fully alive increases or diminishes based on how well you perform, it’s a likely sign that the idolatrous atmosphere of our oppressed world has made inroads in your life. If you discover that what others think about you is beginning to matter to much, or if you discern that your worth, significance and security are beginning to be associated with what you own, it’s a likely indication that you’re beginning to once again be conformed to the pattern of this world. (Romans 12:2)
When you see this happening, it won’t help a bit to beat yourself up. This is completely counter-productive. Nor will it help to resolve to work harder at not caring so much about how you perform, or about what others think, or about what you own. In fact, so long as you’re hungry for life, this will become just one more idol. Even if you’re successful, you’ll start to feed off of your success in getting free from idols – which, of course, is just another idol.
Everything we are called to do as Kingdom people must flow out of the fullness of life we have in Christ.
If it doesn’t flow out of this, it invariably flows out of a hunger we have for life, and thus our good works become nothing more than idols we try to feed off.
The only thing you can do is the one thing you need to do, and that is to turn to Christ as your source of life. Find regular time to experience Christ telling you personally all the things Scripture says is true about you because of what Christ has done for you. And surrender this moment, and the next moment, over to His loving presence.
Learn to walk with an awareness that in each moment you are enveloped by a love that is more beautiful than anything you could possibly imagine, and the cravings for performance, opinions, and material things will begin to be seen as the petty silliness that it is.