Idolatry is worshipping anything that ought to be used, or using anything that ought to be worshipped.
As worship ministers, this is something which we are especially prone to – worshipping the music and the musicianship rather than using the music to worship God. It’s a fine line which is easily crossed if we are not too careful.
Jack Hayford once said this, which has stuck with me ever since: “Lucifer was the closest to the throne of God.”
Worship leaders are often seen to be the closest to God (which by the way is a myth worthy of being busted!) but this does not mean that they are immune from revelling in the worship; as if the worship was for us rather than for God.
The second part of St Augustine’s quote is about using God for our own purposes: our self-worship. How many times do we treat God like He is a divine vending machine, ready to dispense blessings at our whim and fancy?
It’s a fine balance and any time it tips one way or the other, we are at risk of idolatory.