And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the Lord only. 1 Samuel 7:3-4
In this story from 1 Samuel, it took the people of Israel 20 years of being back in the presence of God to finally turn back to Him. It was more or less their version of “just doing church”, without their hearts being in it. Samuel’s word to them at that point was, “if you are serious about your faith, you need to lose your idols.” So what about us? Are we willing to lose our idols?
I might be an idol worshipper if other people’s words on Social Media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. or any combination of them) take up more of my thought time each day than does God’s Word;
I might be an idol worshipper if I spend more of my money on my personal comfort than I do on the furtherance of God’s kingdom;
I might be an idol worshiper if it turns out my god’s heart aligns perfectly with one political party’s platform or the other;
I might be an idol worshipper if my greatest hope for our world’s social ills is the next election;
I might be an idol worshipper if my deepest regret for our world’s social ills is the last election;
I might be an idol worshipper if my ability to listen to you is intractably related to your politics;
I might be an idol worshipper if I can recount more of what a family member said or did last week than of what God said or did in the last year;
I might be an idol worshipper if my constitutional rights are more important to me than my spiritual responsibilities;
I might be an idol worshipper if I can go days without checking in with God, but cannot go hours without checking my phone;
I might be an idol worshipper if I spend more time and money on cable TV than on spiritual pursuits;
I might be an idol worshipper if my Sunday morning is more about preparing my (outward) appearance for people than about preparing my (inward) heart for God;
I could go on and on, but you get the point. If I am serious about God, if God really is to be God in my life, I have to do some reflecting. And I have to lose the idols.
© Blake Coffee