“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters below.”
What do you think God meant when He told us not to love any other gods before Him. Personally, I immediately think of people that worship different gods. Some of you might think of the people that put money first, even before family. Lately, God has been convicting me of some other idols.
The definition of an idol is an image used as an item of worship. Most Christians would look at this statement and say “fyew, at least I don’t struggle with this one.” After all, what do we worship other than God himself, right? Don’t come to that conclusion so quickly. When I looked up the definition of worship, I found that it is to feel an adoring reverence or regard. Ok, let’s dig a little deeper. The word regard means to think highly of. What is it that you think highly of? What is it that is taking your mind off of God? What is it that is keeping you too occupied to do God’s work, or to read God’s word? Any of these strike a chord?
We live in a completely technological world. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of technology and I am in awe of how far the cell phone has come since the first time I saw Zack Morris use one on Saved by the Bell. But as I mentioned earlier, God has been convicting me of my idols. Last month, we were about to go over on our cell phone minutes, so my hubby put the smack down on my usage. Wow, that was tough. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to pick up the cell to call someone, only to remember, is it worth going over our budget and upsetting my husband and Dave Ramsey. During that two week span, I realized how much I needed my phone. Or at least I thought I needed it.
Sunday in church, while our pastor was preaching, he mentioned something he read about our love for cell phones, he said “What if we treated our bibles like cell phones, always took it with us when we left, checking it often to see if there are any messages?” Ouch, that one hurt. How many times do I pray for an answer, yet forget to see if God has texted me back, via His word.
Idolatry can come in many forms, food, sugar, alcohol or drugs, stressing over your debt, agonizing over the salvation of a loved one, texting, face book, basically anything that is consuming your time and mind, essentially getting in between you and your time with God. I know I suffer with numerous idols. I never thought that something as simple as a Cherry Coke could come between me and my creator, however, if we struggle with something, we need to be willing to give it up, if we can’t we are idolizing that item.
As Exodus 20:2 says “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” The NKJV says “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Basically what the word is telling us is that when we can’t stop doing something, we are in bondage, which is not of God. When we choose to submit to the addiction, we are choosing to put this idol before God.
Ok, so now you are starting to feel like I have been feeling. God does not want us to feel guilt. When He convicts us, He wants us to pray. Pray for deliverance from these strongholds. Once we realize and bring our strongholds to God, it takes a little of that control away. God’s word teaches us that with the blood of Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins, so thank God for the forgiveness. He wants us to put Him before all the other stuff that He, himself, has blessed us with.
Don’t stress, here is your answer. Deuteronomy 11:13 says “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today-to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” I don’t know about you, but I am going to look at these gifts that the Lord has provided in this world differently. Praise God for all He has given, pray to God for all we fall short of, and thank God for His unfailing love.