What do I have in my life that is a shrine?
Who or what do I have as a priority that shouldn’t be?
Those are the 2 big questions we need to ask ourselves for this month's topic.
Exodus 20: 3-5 says“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me."
The 10 commandments explicitly talk about not having any idols. This is a practice that is centuries of years old.
However, it is not only a practice that is relevant to ancient people or groups. There are modern day people, religions, and beliefs that still worship false idols.
What are some of your idols or gods? What are some things that you place more importance on than God? What are some things that you hold extremely near and dear to your heart, things that you think about frequently, worry about, or spend time doing?
Think about these examples as you try to discover what you could be putting before God:
Idols could also be in the form of thoughts or images:
Exodus 20:4 says:
"Do not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath."
How many times do we look at images of angels, or fairies, or other heavenly beings and believe that what is depicted is the truth? How do we take those images and worship them, believe in them, or even pray to them?
Think about your life. What are some of the things that you "worship?"
Maybe you are having a hard time pinpointing something that you feel has taken precedence over God.
Let's take a look at what worship really is.
Merriam-webster.com defines worship as this:
1.reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence
2. a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
3. extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem it; example: worship of the dollar
What do you worship? Is there anything else, other than God, that you adore, revere, or glorify?
Still can't think of anything?
Let's take a brief look at what the meaning of an idol is:
According to Merriam-webster.com the meaning of an idol is:
1. a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god
In Bible days, groups of people, even believers, were notorious for creating false idols: the golden calf, earrings, the bronze snake, and Gideon's Ehpod.
Sometimes, the idols that were created, weren't originally created as idols. They were created as a way to worship God or put their full faith in Him. But after seeing how God provided, healed, and made himself evident through those things, their eyes fell away from the Glory of God and onto the material items themselves. The items that were originally created for good, were later turned into things that were displeasing to God. In other words, people started to worship the object and not the Creator.
What are some of your modern day idols?
Think about things that used to, at one point in your life, be used for good, and has turned into something that is now being put before God.
To help think about idols, please click on the References below to see what God considers to be idols:
Now that you know what God says about idolatry, let's do some soul searching:
Take some time to think about these questions, and how God may be calling you to change some things in your life.
In what or whom does your confidence depend?
What or do you trust the most?
What source guides you for your lifestyle?
What or where do you spend the majority of your time?
What does your mind wander to when daydreaming?
What activity gives me the most pleasure?
What am I watching, reading, and dwelling on?
How can you change the way you think, the things you say, or what you do to/for/about these idols?
How can you get back to the goodness that they were created for without putting them before God?
One way to do this is by simply looking at who God is.
God's Character is defined as:
He is known as:
- I am
- Elohim- Strong One
- Adoniai- Lord
- El Shaddai- Almighty One
- El Olam- Everlasting
- Jehovah Shalom- Lord is Peace
- Jehovah Jireh- Lord will Provide
- Jehova Nakeh- Lord that Smites
Whatever you are struggling with, whatever you have made into an idol, whatever you may be worshiping that is not God pleasing, God is waiting for you to give it up. He wants your eyes to be upon Him and Him only. No matter what you have done, or what you worship, He is waiting, with arms open wide, ready to welcome you home.
For the slide show to this month's discussion, please click here.