A Book I Think You Should Read – Gods at War by Kyle Idleman
Written by Bob DeAngelo, Pastor of Youth and Outreach
I live in North Carolina’s capital city, the beautiful city of Raleigh. When I moved here around 19 years ago, Kelly and I had fun learning and getting familiar with our new city and a part of the country that was brand new to us. Like most cities, the streets in Raleigh are laid out in a fairly predictable manner. But I remember, at times, driving on a road, coming to a cross section, and being surprised that two certain roads intersected. For example, Six Forks Road, which for the most part, runs parallel with Wake Forest Road, actually intersects with Wake Forest Road.
As I read the book, Gods at War (Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart), I found it very interesting that the challenge of the book, dealing with idols in my own life, clearly intersected with what my mind and heart have wrestled with here recently.
I can sincerely say that God has used both Covid-19 and this book to expose areas of idolatry in Bob DeAngelo’s heart. When God exposes idols in our hearts, we will sense pain, and we can experience an emotional and spiritual gripping of what may actually be good things. As difficult as this experience may be, our good God desires to free us from items that were never meant to be “gods” in our lives…and “gods” that, while strangely comfortable to us, actually lead to disappointment, and to emotional and spiritual damage.
Gods at War is not an out-of-touch, theological study. Idleman, like a family member giving a back massage, probes out muscles for the pressure points of idolatry in our lives.
The first four chapters of the book lay engaging groundwork for the issue. The opening quote in chapter one is from Os Guiness: “Idolatry is huge in the Bible, dominant in our personal lives, and irrelevant in our mistaken estimations.”
The book then works through three different “temples” in our lives where these gods, these idols, reside.
The first temple is the “Temple of Pleasure,” and the three idols that we find here are:
- The god of food
- The god of sex
- The god of entertainment – “Never in the history of humanity has there been so much entertainment…and so little satisfaction.”
The second temple is the “Temple of Power,” and three idols that reside here are:
- The god of success
- The god of money – “The reason money so often ends up being God’s chief competition is that we tend to ascribe divine attributes to it. We look to money to do the very thing God wants to do for us.”
- The god of achievement
The third temple is the “Temple of Love,” and we find three more idols that reside here:
- The god of romance – “When we look to someone other than God to complete us and define our lives, it’s idolatry. God is the only one who can complete us…When you make a relationship with someone else your god, it will eventually be marked with disappointment and bitterness.”
- The god of family – He challenges the statement, “When Momma’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.” “When a family member has control of our attitudes and our emotions, it may be an indication that God is being replaced.”
- The god of me – “Have you ever found yourself taking the slightest suggestion, the blandest criticism, as a personal attack? What makes people this way? Well, when you’re god, you must be perfect, and no one else could possibly be in a position to criticize you.”
“What if I told you that every sin you are struggling with, every discouragement you are dealing with, even the lack of purpose you’re living with…are because of idolatry?”
I sincerely hope that a few nuggets from the book will whet your appetite. I have read over 30 books this year…and this has been my favorite book that I have read in 2020. Gods at War is at the same time hard-hitting and enjoyable. I strongly recommend it – get a copy and read it. You will enjoy it and you will benefit.