Beware worshiping false idols

We’ve been talking about idols. God tells us to rid ourselves of all idols. That is the second commandment. (Exodus 20:4-5) For our own good, we are not to allow anything or anyone to occupy the place that rightfully belongs to Him. We are to worship God and God alone.

Worship means I humble myself and surrender myself to something. Almighty God is to be the sole focus of our worship. I am to give God my highest love, my total devotion and my ultimate loyalty.

He is the only one who deserves my highest praise. No other person, no other object, no career or any other thing deserves that which is deserved only by my Heavenly Father, the one who made me.

The Apostle Paul summarized what people were doing 2,000 years ago when he said, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25)

Sound familiar? Do you know anyone who praises the creation ahead of the Creator? Their God is the beach, the woods, the lake, their hobby, their work, their stuff, etc. They say that they feel closer to God when they go to these places, but if they are honest, in many instances, they really don’t give God much thought. Their lives aren’t about Him. They are all about their own personal pursuits and personal pleasure.

In 1 John 5:21, we are told to “Keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your heart.” Personal pleasure often takes the place in our hearts that rightfully belongs to God. The same could be said of money, sports, material possessions and so much more.

None of these things are innately bad, but they can easily become “idols” when we are enslaved to them and we allow them to take God’s place by becoming the most important things in our lives.

Are there any idols in your life? Have you subtly allowed anything to take the place in your life that rightly belongs only to God? Idolatry is not just about wooden images or golden calves.

In contemporary culture, the list of possible idols is almost endless. It could be anything, anyone, any activity, any practice, any habit or anything else that we have allowed to push God out of our lives. These things become idols. The list of potential idols may vary from person to person, but the damage caused by allowing them to remain is the same for all of us.

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