January 18, 2017

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Idolatry. What is it really?

“Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” –Deuteronomy 13:1-4, NLT

Idolatry

Idolatry. What is it really? According to dictionary.com idolatry is “excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.” In today’s reading, the Israelites are being warned against idolatry. The author of Deuteronomy warns about the prophets among the Israelites who encourage the people to worship other gods. God is using this example to test His people. Do they truly love Him with all their heart and soul?

When I read this scripture, I ask myself that same question. Do I truly love the Lord with all my heart and soul? I want to give a resounding “Yes!” But the reality is, there are other “gods” I worship. It’s hard to even say those words. Maybe you struggle with the same thing? What idols do you worship?

Some of the most common idols we worship are acceptance, the activities on our calendar, our ‘to do’ lists, our spouse, friendships, family relationships, our daily routine, our kid’s successes, a sports team, etc. The list goes on and on. These are all good things but when they become more important to us than God, they become an idol.

So, how do we get rid of the idols in our lives? How do we stop worshiping other gods? God gives very clear answers in His word. “Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.”-Deuteronomy 13:4

Serve only the Lord your God

What is the motivation for what we do? Is it to serve ourselves? If so, we need a heart check. We need to be in the habit of serving God alone.

Fear Him alone

What does it mean to fear God? It means to be in awe. To revere God. Are we in awe of God? Or is there something or someone else we revere more?

Obey His commands

When we obey God, our lives are filled with so much more joy and peace. How do we know His commands? By getting in the Word each day. As we read the Bible, we will know God’s heart more and have a greater desire to obey His commands.

Listen to His voice

As we spend time in God’s word, we get to know God’s voice more. In John 10:27, we read “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” The voices of the world and the enemy come at us every day. We have a choice whether we listen or not. Let’s commit to listening to God’s voice.

Cling to Him

I love the thought of clinging to God. Anytime I hear the word ‘cling’, the picture that comes to my mind is someone hanging onto a rope with all their might. This is how God wants us to cling to Him. God wants us to depend on Him with all that is within us.

Do you love me?

God is asking each one of us if we truly love Him with all our heart and soul. Do we? Or are there idols in our lives? It’s hard to admit that we worship something other than God. But, freedom and forgiveness come in the confession.

God longs for us to serve and fear Him alone. He also desires that we obey His commands, listen to His voice and cling to Him. Let’s walk in this today. God alone is worthy of all our honor and praise!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. This is hard truth. I don’t want to worship anyone or anything more than I worship You. Please help me to be aware of the idols in my life. I want nothing to stand in the way of knowing You more Jesus. Thank You for Your love and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

serve only the Lord

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