“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” – Colossians 3:5
I grew up in a strict Christian home. Both my parents had given their lives to Jesus and going to church on Sunday was the weekly norm. Under no circumstances would we ever miss church unless for unavoidable conditions such as illness. One of the things I remember about Sunday school very vividly was the 10 commandments’. The second commandment is what I would like to focus on. “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on earth or in the sea.” Needless to say it did not take long for the Israelites to disobey this particular command. Just as Moses was coming down from Mt. Sinai with the two stone tablets detailing the terms of the covenant, they had already made a golden calf to worship. On the surface of it, especially reading this story as a small boy, it made no sense to me as to why the Israelites would do this.
Idols really? After all the signs and wonders that The LORD had performed in leading them out of Egypt, why would they even think of doing such a thing? The scripture details that when Moses saw the dancing around the calf he burned with anger at what they had done. The Israelites desired a golden calf because they felt separated from Moses and God. They were fearful of where Moses and God had gone. They didn’t like this fear and were growing restless. They didn’t have faith that God had a good plan and that Moses would give it to them. Therefore, they felt in their hearts that they needed a god that they could control and physically touch in times of stress, fear, or worry. It seems crazy right! However, are we really different from the Israelites?
Jeremiah details that the heart is deceitful above all things. In our hearts we want a golden calf god that we can control and touch to soothe us whenever we’re going through something stressful, fearful, or worrisome. One example of this could be video games. We pull out video games whenever we need a mental break from life. It is something we can touch and control. We turn it on and turn it off whenever we feel like it. Another example can be your phone. You pull it out whenever you’re alone with your thoughts which can be difficult to deal with. Your phone is something that you can touch and control. You remove your phone whenever you need it. What is an idol in your life? What are you touching and controlling to help soothe you from stress, fear, or worry?
I remember a while back, I was playing a very violent video game, and The LORD put it in my heart that I should stop playing that particular game, in my stubbornness I initially resisted but it got so bad that I could not even pray, and every scripture I read kept pointing out my sin, eventually I repented of my sin and got rid of the game, and peace filled my heart that truly lasted unlike the temporary fix of my video game idol. Most of the time, idols in our lives are sweet to the flesh, but if I am to quote a good friend of mine, “what is better short term pain for long term gain, or short term gain for long term pain?”
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, what you sow, you shall reap. Therefore I would urge us all if there is anything we have placed above God in our lives to let it go. The thing that you’re touching and controlling is not better than God. It simply is not worth it, if it is a relationship, girl, boy, a group of friends, a game, whatever it may be, I guarantee you it is a rip-off from what Jesus has for you on the other side of your obedience. Kill your idols. Not literally people, but maybe the relationship or the video game. Get them out of your life so that you can have more joy.
Thank you LORD for all that you have done for me, if there are any idols in my life, help me identify them and get rid of them so that I may focus on Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Amen.