by Julia Bruce
Israel seemed stuck in an endless cycle of having peace in the land while serving God, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord when they begin to worship false gods, followed by God punishing Israel through another nation conquering them and enslaving them, which causes Israel to finally figures things out and cry out to God. God hears them and He raises up a judge and Israel is delivered. We see this pattern over and over again – all because of idols.
It’s no wonder then that our omnipotent God provided a warning to them and to us. He knows that we allow idols of all kinds into our country, our homes, and our individual lives. They take over and permeate our lives. We crave them – can’t live without them. We spend our last dollar on them – and the majority of our time. That’s how they become an idol. Idols don’t always come in the form of a golden calf or a planet or a weather phenomenon. Sometimes idols come in some very unlikely forms because anything that becomes more important to us than God, is an idol. (click to tweet) When we spend all of our time, effort, energy, and money on something to the point that we don’t have time for church or prayer or reading God’s word and there’s no money left to give God a tithe and we are so tired we can’t get up on Sundays to go to church, then you can bet you’ve let an idol creep in.
God knows just how deceitful the heart is. In Jeremiah 17:9, the prophet wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Solomon advised in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” The heart is a big problem and Satan knows our weakest spots and that’s where he chooses to tempt us. (click to tweet) For Israel, it worshiping false gods. Yet we all have “gods” of some kind that we struggle with. Unlikely idols are idols that creep into our lives in such a way that we have not even realized we’ve made them an idol. It’s easy to spot the golden calf. It’s easy to understand how things like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, pornography, and sex can become an idol. But are you able to spot unlikely idols such as money, food, power, position, hobbies, children, careers, possessions, social media, video games, education, or health? We can make sleep an unlikely idol when we choose to sleep in late on Sunday instead of going to church. Even the ministry you do at church that consumes all your time and energy can become an idol. Our “unlikely idols” deceive us into thinking they will make us happy. So we crave them, covet them – worship them – give them our all – even if it means our relationships, finances, and lives are destroyed. (click to tweet)
True joy is only found in a right relationship with God and worshiping only Him. In Exodus 20:5, God said, “You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God.” He wants our time and attention. In our world when we thing of jealousy, it’s a negative concept, such as being jealous that your neighbor has Tesla in the garage while you’re driving a dinged up car with over 200,000 miles that you have to pray gets you from point A to point B and back again without leaving you stranded on the highway in rush hours traffic. Or we think of the jealous spouse who think their husband/wife is cheating on them. Most often, our jealousy is unrighteous, weak and insecure. But that’s not what God’s jealousy is like. God’s jealousy is righteous and holy. As our creator and because of God’s love for us that send Jesus to the cross for our sake, God deserves our deepest and strongest affections and admiration.
God created us to find our greatest joy and satisfaction when we make God our greatest treasure. However, when we turn to idols to find joy and satisfaction, God is offended and His wrath is coming. (click to tweet) When we cast Him aside and replace Him with other things, giving those things our greatest attention, than those things have become and idol. In Colossians 3:5-6, it says, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”
Take some moments to consider the unlikely idols in your life. What do you need to do so that God is returned to the place of honor in your life? Jesus said that the greatest commandment was that we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37) If you love Him any less, then what do you love more? Confess your idols and restore God to the honored position He deserves.
#verseoftheday #unlikelyidols #WCM
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars: This book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel
Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities.