The TRUE meaning of ‘IDOLATRY’: "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods'--which you have not known--'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 13:1-3)
Moses cautioned the Israelites against idolatry that may arise from the Canaanites. We should be aware of the truths and precepts of the Bible; for we may expect to be proved by temptations of evil under the appearance of good, and of error in the guise of truth. This would be a proof of our sincere allegiance for God that we should not forsake God and follow other hobbies/things/people that take the first place meant for God in our lives. Deut 13 speaks clearly about the ultimate punishment that should be given for apostates as God desired that the Israelites worship of God must be free from idolatry. Deut 13:1-5 speaks about the enticers to idolatry must be put to death; Deut 13:6-11 speaks about relations who entice to idolatry not be spared, and Deut 13:12-18 tells us that idolatrous cities must be not be spared either.
What is idolatry in our context? 1 Chronicles 16:26 and Psalms 96:5 tell us that “all the gods of the peoples are idols”. 1 Sam 15:23 warns us that “…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry". Colossians 3:4-5 reminds us that covetousness is idolatry. “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry”.
Beware of idolatry, which is really ‘covetousness’ in our lives. "For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Eph 5:5)