"An idol is crafted...with gold and silver" [Isaiah 40.19]
An idol is crafted. That's a big revelation. Idols are never just made carelessly--the best human effort and talent are applied to casting it. "Crafting" means the best and sophisticated artistry. When we get careless and blinded by worldly exposure and succumb to it, we start giving things we deem important our best. Like, in our jobs, businesses, homes, families, ideals, studies, careers, friendships, and even churches. Church leaders do not just want to read the bible--they enroll in seminaries for titles and degrees. And yet the Word is not seen in them powerfully.
Remember this one thing: beware when you give your best to something and devote so much time to perfecting it. It may have become an idol in your heart. Giving your best to anything you do so that God is glorified is good. But we should beware not to overdo it. There's always the danger of making idols out of them. Do your best and then that's it. Never mind what happens next.
What I mean is this. I see lots of people who, after giving their best to a task, still can't leave it at that. They want to perfect their best. They spend more time and effort making it the best of the best, especially when there's something at stake--like a recognition, a reward, a promotion, a money bonus, or to get someone's attention or approval.
What I do is, I give it my best shot--for God's glory--and then forget about it. If people still don't appreciate what I did, I don't care. Even if they were my boss. Well, of course, if it were my boss and he tells me I need to improve on what I've done. I'd obey my earthly master, for that's what the Scriptures say. But I will be very careful never to craft an idol out of what I'm doing. I won't do it to gain his favor or make our company outshine others. I'd just do it for God and forget about it after. An idol is crafted with the best human effort and capability.
I've seen pastors and church leaders who do their best to make their local church or denomination shine, to be the best. Unaware, they're crafting an idol. With ministry, I always let God do the work through my body--because HE is in my body 100 percent. I don't do anything to outshine anyone or be recognized by people or so people will keep coming back to the church God gave me. I don't do anything to make people go to my church and be members. What I do, I just do them, because God wants me to. Whatever results from that is none of my business. It's the Holy Spirit's business. Because I'm aware that an idol is crafted. You give your best to another cause--even if it's a Godly cause--you start making an idol.
Don't mistake church ministry with God. They're not the same. I give my best---all-out---only to God. No, I'm not active in church. What I mean by "all out best" is that I learn to wait on him. Very few know the art and power in waiting in and for God. They that wait on him will have renewed tremendous strength. I also keep still and know that HE is GOD. I spend time knowing my Jesus more, being sensitive to HIS voice and leading, roaming around the Kingdom with HIM, and having HIS LIFE manifested in me. I meditate HIS Word, because through the Word comes powerful transfiguration--I share in God's being God. I get HIS DNA. I get his LIFE so that he lives in me and no longer I. That's God's flesh.
As long as I do this to God alone and not to anything or anybody else, I don't make idols. I always remember that an idol is crafted with the best--the best craftsmanship, with gold and silver.