Two key thoughts were in my devotional reading today. The story of Elijah vs the prophets of Baal was one, the other was:
"When you are busy in your activity for God, remember that God leads you to the experiences in order to bring you to Himself." From Henry Blackaby.
We scoff at the very idea that we as Christians have idols in our homes. But oh so many of us do.
Did King David? As Spurgeon writes...yes he did. Idols are person, places or things. In David's case it was his children. His excessive thoughts of Absalom. Putting any family or friends above your relationship with God is turning them into an idol. Look at how the world gauges how much you either do or don't care about your kids by just how involved in the extra curricular activities they are involved in. Shaming grown adults if they aren't participating.
A place can be an idol. How can a PLACE be an idol you ask? Well if that place takes the place of God then it's an idol. Be it a golf course, movie theater, etc.
Even a room that's got a theme in your home that consumes your time energy and effort to maintain. Sports can be a very great idol in your life. Shirts, cups, stickers, hats all to tell the world who you will side with, who you had better not speak ill about. For you will defend your team! It's why I gave away all my sports themed things. I don't worship them anymore.
Things are just the more obvious idols. A car, a truck, a video console, a look, an outfit, anything man made can be an idol.
Any idol is what comes between you and God. That's the simplest way to put it.
Are there things that consume your thoughts, energy and effort that have nothing to do with your relationship with God? Work is a necessary part of life. But if all you live for is work then it's an idol.
Think about what you think about. What consumes your thoughts?
Remember garbage in garbage out. Whatever you feed your mind is what comes out of it.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:19 "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;" it also says in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
What are you thinking about? The order of things is found in Matthew 22:37-39 "And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Jesus must come first. In your life, your marriage, your thoughts. First. If He does not, then you have a problem. Because you have taken Him off the Throne of your life and put something else in His place.
Funny how all that ties into an at-first unrelated devotional.
When you are busy in your activity for God, remember that God leads you to the experiences in order to bring you to Himself.
There are those who become the busybodies such as we read in the story about Mary and Martha.
But our lives are to be a reflection of our relationship with God. We won't always have the answers, the solutions, to life's problems. Why? Because it's God's plans in our lives that accomplish several things. To bring us closer to Him, or back to Him. To bring others back to Him. To bring others out of darkness and into His light. To cause believers to grow up in Christ.
Years and years ago I put the cart before the horse. God showed me a Plan and I got all gung-ho over it and messed it up. Spent decades getting back around to where His plan was working itself out and not my meddling. The Bible says that He is the potter and I am the clay. He shapes, moulds and creates. I do not.
It's very easy to be so absorbed into thinking that you are serving God but neglect the relationship with God in the process.
In the Old Testament many many times the Lord told Israel to put away the idols.
Even today He tells those in the Church the same thing. Do you wear an idol into a worship service for Jesus? A sports shirt is evidence of an idol. It has no place in a worship service to Jesus. Vastly different if that's all a person has to wear to church but in way more than 90 percent of the people that's not the case.
If your thoughts are not with you in Church but are off somewhere else on something else then you already know what idols to put away.
Put Jesus back on the Throne of your life.
Consider your thoughts and activities.
Are you in a relationship with Jesus at all? Or do you just like to stand close to people who are? It's hardly the same.
You will never get wet unless you put your feet in the water.
The gift of Salvation is free. The relationship with Jesus is the heart of it. You come as you are, He cleans you up, gives you a new name. Your name is then written in the Lamb's book of life. You are made right before God. Your sins are remembered no more. You find a greater love than you will ever be able to fathom.
All there's to do is for you to ask.