The essence of idolatry is transactional: I give the power this and get that in return. It is rooted in the illusion that we control our circumstances, and the false belief that certain circumstances are necessary for us to be happy.
We seek idols we can transact with and currency with which we can trade. We know inherently that we have affection to give, and seek in return to have our deep-seeded longings fulfilled– peace, purpose, love. When we exchange affection for the promises offered, we think we get a double “win”: we are in control and use the power to fulfill our desires.
There is a problem though; it is all a lie. It doesn’t work. We’re chasing the wind. It is vain. Not only do we not receive what was promised, we have lost some of what we’ve given away.
There is a better way. Instead of pursuing an illusion of control, we can trust the One who is trustworthy. Instead of trusting ourselves, with the resulting pressure (and inevitable failure), we can trust God – the only source of all that is good.