“ Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” 1 John 5:21 NLT
We’re switching from fear to idols for the next five days. Idols are anything that comes before God. It’s one of the 10 Commandments God gave Moses: “You must not have any other god but Me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” Exodus 20:3-5 NLT
God means business when it comes to anything that takes His place in your heart. It is literally the first commandment He gave to Moses to share with the Israelites. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, His response backed up the commandment God gave Moses: “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 NLT.
When Lee, 8 years old, was asked what exactly this meant, this was his reply: “You should worship God instead of your bike, Nintendo, computer or TV. You should read the Bible more.” In other, the 4 hours a day the average American spends watching T.V. could be considered an idol. The 2 hours and 22 minutes a day that was spent on social media in 2018 could be considered and idol. The 6 hours a week video gamers spend playing games, also could be considered an idol, but only if it comes before God in their hearts. God isn’t saying that these things are bad, He’s just saying, don’t let them come first. But how do you know if it does or not? Can you give it up? If God asked you to give up watching T.V., scrolling social media or playing video games, could you give it up? If the answer is no, then God’s not first place in your heart.
Idols can take many shapes and forms. We can make idols out of anything, the Israelite’s made a golden calf to worship because Moses was taking too long returning from his mountaintop meeting with God (Exodus 32:4). The very meeting in which God gave him the 10 commandments. Exercise, food, money, work, church, shopping, people, houses, the list is endless of possible things in our lives that can become idols. It is hard to guard our hearts from worshiping another god, we are all susceptible to it. But we can ask God to help us keep Him first. Let’s start with today’s prayer:
Lord, we’re sorry for worshiping other gods. Help us keep our hearts pure, help us keep You first always. Let nothing take Your place in our hearts (1 John 5:21 NLT). In Jesus name we pray. Amen