We must REMOVE every IDOL from our HEARTS
August 30 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 13-15
"Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?" (Ezek. 14:1-3)
The first two of the Ten Commandments deal with the issue of idols. The first commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3), while the second commandment says, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God" (verse 4).
In the above passage, God is telling His prophet Ezekiel that the elders of Israel who have come to seek God had idols in their hearts. These people had other items of importance before the true and living Jehovah God, and God was certainly not at all pleased with their setting of priorities. In fact, God’s people struggled with idolatry in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament we see believers warned not to have idols!
Idols in our hearts can cause God to refuse to listen to our prayers. An idol is anything (or anyone) that takes the place of God in our lives. Clearly, this is sinful but it can evolve from our common daily activities and priorities. For example, we can make an idol out of our career. There is nothing wrong with having a career, but if it is more important than God, then it has become an idol. We can make an idol out of an earthly relationship. However, if this relationship (spouse, children, etc.) is more important than God, then it becomes an idol in our lives. We can also make an idol out of money. We can make an idol out of our gadgets and possessions. We can make an idol out of just about anything in our lives. Let us clearly understand that if we have idols in our hearts, then God will not hear us!
Many people have secret idols hidden in the chambers of their hearts from the sight of men. However, they cannot hide them God for God can look right into their hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." (Heb. 4:13) The moment the affection meant for God is given to any other thing or person, that substitute becomes an idol.
Nowadays, we have a lot of modern-day idols that people worship, and these idols keep them away from God. They include the following: self, education, home, family, friends, clothes, money, job, career, pleasure, hobbies, internet, social networking tools, television, gym, and even religious activities, etc. Let none of the above take the place of God in our lives!
Today, let us give our heart completely to Jesus & break every idol from our hearts. Let the light of God shine into our lives. We need to examine ourselves to check if we are still strong in the faith (2 Cor. 13: 5). Let us discard those things which take us away from God and distract our hearts and minds. We must remove every idol from our hearts in the light of God’s Word today!