When we pursue the things of this world we need to examine ourselves. Is God leading us? If not then we are involved in idolatry.
Idolatry is all around us, everywhere, especially in the church.
I question the formulas we make up to get things from God. If I pray enough, if I give this much, if I fast......if I do something expecting God to return the favor, I am acting like a pagan worshiping an idol.
In ancient times, the warrior, fertility and weather gods were very attractive to God's people because if you did a certain something, a certain ritual the gods promised certain things. Sometimes they would even deliver with the help of demons. This kind of worship is so appealing also because it is based on what we do rather than on God.
How many times do we Christians find ourselves treating God like the ancient ones treated pagan idols?
There have been so many books written about faith formulas. We love these kinds of books because it means we're in control rather than God.
None of the things I mentioned are wrong (fasting, giving, praying) of course. They are very good things for Christians to take part in.
But if they are done with wrong motives, we are taking part in idolatry.