Idols and Other Gods
"You shall have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:3
Elyse Fitzpatrick tells the story of Jenny who believed that the only way for her to be happy was to have a godly husband. She was married to a Christian man who attended church with her, but she wanted a husband who would pray regularly with her and who would have devotions with the family. Good desires, right? Sadly, Jenny eventually had become convinced that she could not find happiness unless her expectations were met. Jenny would prepare a nice dinner thinking that her husband would feel obligated to do what she wanted.
At other times, she would withhold her companionship and pout. Jenny's desire became a need, then a demand to fill the need, then an expectation that the demands would be met. What once was a desire to please God became a demand to please Jenny. Jenny had become willing to sin to "find happiness" and her desire to be happy had taken God's place; Jenny was now behaving like an idolater.
God's primary command is, "You shall have no other gods before Me" and sets a foundation to obey the other nine commandments. Perhaps it isn't an overstatement to say it's impossible to obey the other nine commandments if we fail to obey the first. So, how do we place an emphasis on God and avoid our susceptibility to idols and other gods? Spend time with the Lord so that He can "search the heart, test the mind" and "the Holy Spirit will teach you all things".
Read God's Word regularly "for the Word of God is living and active...able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Fellowship with Christians "as you teach and counsel yourselves."
As Pastor Jay often repeats in Matthew 22:37-38, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment."
Posted on Thu, September 1, 2011
by Dave Jones