“‘You shall not make for yourself an idol… You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God….’” Deuteronomy 5: 8a &9a&b. (NASB)
Idols. We think they’re easy to spot. In this country, we typically don’t carve them from wood or mold them from metal. We (think) we don’t carry them around with us. We smirk and wonder how people of times past could possibly bow down to something they made with their own hands believing it could be “god,” believing it had the power to do something…anything.
While every age has its idols – its own “gods” – some idols are timeless.
They’re not the ones we make with our hands. They’re insidious. Often they come disguised as “a good thing:” It’s “a good thing” to work hard, to become affluent. It’s “a good thing” to love your family. It’s “a good thing” to use your gifts and talents to serve the Lord.
But sometimes we unwittingly make idols out of “a good thing.”
We can put in too many hours at work, striving to provide for ourselves and our families, to “keep up” with our neighbors, forgetting that provision comes from the hand of the Lord, not our own hand. We can love our family – our spouse, our children – with our whole being, sometimes crowding the Lord from the throne of our heart. We can spend hour upon hour working for the Lord, helping and serving His people, inadvertently neglecting Him. We overlook the fact that what He wants most is our wholehearted trust, intimate fellowship, one on one time with us. We forget that above all else, He should be the center of our universe, not our jobs, not our families, not even serving Him. Anything that demands our primary focus, our whole heart – even if it’s “a good thing” – becomes an idol.
Lord, help me realize that You and You alone need to be the center of my universe, seated on the throne of my heart. Help me remember – and trust – that You and You alone can and will fill the “hole” in my heart (one I may not realize is there); no thing, no person, no activity can adequately fill that space. Help me know at the very core of my being that ultimately all I want, all I really need is You; only You can fill the emptiness, only You can satisfy.