Deuteronomy 13-14, Psalm 57
We all worship someone or something. As Christians, we are not to worship anything other than the One True God. Anything worshiped other than the One True God represents an idol. This idol can be Buddha, Allah, or the recreated God belonging to any cult, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. This also extends within the church to the worship of Mary and the saints. Mary and many of the saints of course deserve our respect for their God honoring lives, but they are not to be worshiped.
This may still not directly make many of us feel uncomfortable. In John 8:31-32, we read, “…If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. Since God reveals Himself in Scripture, it is extremely difficult to know Him or be in a relationship with Him without being in His Word on a regular basis.
So let’s fill in the blank to figure out what idols are in our lives. Would it be harder to give up (blank) for one week, or harder to give up being in God’s Word? The blank could be: TV, the internet, your cell phone, Face Book, looking in the mirror at yourself, any food other than needed for sustenance, alcohol, money in excess of your needs, etc. Let’s make the blank a little more difficult: time with your family, time with your spouse, time with your children. Let’s make it a little more difficult: rather than one week, make it two weeks or even a month.
If we honestly made a pyramid to represent what was important in our lives, if God is not at the top of that pyramid, even good things such as our spouses and children have become our idols.
Chapter 12 and 13 of Deuteronomy go into great detail describing the extent that false gods and idols, along with those who promote their worship, must be eliminated from the lives of the Israelites. In Deuteronomy 12:29-30, “When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their god’s, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their god’s? I will also do likewise.’ “. He goes further in the next section to not be led astray even by miracles. We read in 13:1-3, “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.” This completely ties into the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Deuteronomy 5:7).
If we wonder why we don’t feel that closeness to God that we once had, or His Word does not seem to be resonating, or prayer and worship seem to be a little anemic, it could be that we have allowed an idol to slip into our lives and push God out of first place. Jesus told the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:4-5, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,…”. May we all pray that we will make a real effort to reestablish the relationship that God desires. He must be first. Any other idol must be cut out, or for good things like our family, put in it’s proper level of importance, underneath God.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: