Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 31 of My Lenten Journey

31.  Idolatry

When people hear idolatry these days, they immediately think of things like "American Idol"  or the
Kardashians or some other famous person.  This is not at all what I think of.  I also, don't think about statues of some religious symbol that I bow down and worship.

In the time of the Old Testament, idols were a rampant problem.  People would put faith in a piece of wood, stone or metal and hope that it could do  something for them.  It replaced the one true, holy and powerful God.  And, from the get go God pronounced any worship of idol was wrong.

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to then or worship them.  Exodus 20:4-5

We are sinful people and the Israelites were no different.  They were constantly lead astray.  Moses came down from getting the 10 Commandments and there they were breaking rule number 2!  The book of Hosea even uses imagery of adulterous behavior to represent the Israelites problem with idolatry.  Even today there are religions that bow down to statues and think they hold some power on their lives.  Idolatry is different for me, but no less troublesome.

They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.  Psalm 106:36

For me, idolatry is anything that comes before God and receives more importance first in my life than Him. Idols are anything in my life that make me forget the Lord or make me want to spend less time with God.

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them.  Jonah 2:8

What is that in my life today that is an idol?  I would definitely say my iPhone and the internet.  They
can be useful tools and they can help me and others study the Word of God.  There are tons of apps for that, including my favorite, Bible Gateway.  But, it can be a problem if not left in check.  How many times do I wake up in the morning and check Facebook, my email or the weather before I pray? All too often.  It gets in the way sometimes of my relationship with God and therefore, I consider it an idol.

So, here I am confessing my sin in idolatry.  My plan is to change my pattern and make sure to start my day off with God first and check my phone later.  Will I sometimes fail?  Yes, but God is merciful and he always forgave the Israelites when they confessed as well.  The point is, we do our best asking for his help and trust God for the rest.

Dear children, keep yourself from idols.  1 John 5:21

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