“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.“
When it comes to the other commandments such as lying, envying, etc… we know we’ve done both of those a few times. But no other gods before me? Lord, we’re good. Or are we?
A “god” is what we give authority to that determines our actions. That “god” gets the attention, the money, the devotion, our decisions, etc… Basically, it’s an idol.
The Idol of Our Own Judgment
We think we know best and if it differs from the Bible, then it is “outdated,” or even “of the Old Testament, or “we’re under grace.” And so we think we know what is best.
This happens often when we begin to drift into sin. At that point we begin to justify our actions and minimize the Bible and the truths of God.
I know one young man who has always served and loved the Lord, but recently he has moved into sinful choices. And because of that he has now decided that the Bible is “95% true.” But do you see it?
How does he determine that 5%? Who determines that 5%? It really comes down to the 5% is where he wants to sin and is struggling with it. This young man is wonderful and a treasure, but sin hardens the heart and mind.
It’s also true with atheism. Atheism basically rejects God and puts our judgment and decisions in its place. And when that happens, everything becomes relative and life becomes chaos.
In fact, atheism has been the deadliest belief system by far in the 20th century, killing almost 200 million by atheistic leaders. That is more than all the previous centuries combined.
It’s dangerous when our own judgment becomes an idol.
The Idol of Money
Wow, doesn’t this rule our day–the fear of lack. We fear lack so we drift into doing things we weren’t meant to do. Sometimes they are not immoral, but they are not in the way of faith. This can be costly, literally.
But also our fear of lack causes us to hoard things without thinking of others. Like toilet paper in a pandemic.
Then there’s the fear of lack that is a thorn in the flesh in relationships. Unnecessary spending meets fear of lack and it’s an explosive combination in any relationship, be it a marriage or even a business.
I think of now in this time of pandemic that a lot of ministries are going to be challenged. And it’s not all bad. Have they looked to money for their decisions or to others for their money, or to God?
The idol of the love of money is something that creeps in unaware. We begin to depend on it greater than we depend on God.
The Idol of Sex
Yep, there it is. This is without question a god in today’s world. No one wants boundaries but they want “freedom” to explore desires and who they are. More and more is put on the table and there’s not much left that isn’t allowed.
You name it, from the abortion issue, identity issue, who you “love” issue, multiples, etc… It’s become mainstream. And it’s an idol. More people reject the Bible and reject God because they don’t want to be told that there are sexual boundaries.
Yet our sexuality is the most holy part of our lives. There’s a reason why there are restraints. Like a river, when it’s kept within its banks it can be life-giving. But when it overflows its banks it causes great disaster and destruction.
The Idol of Relationships
Oftentimes singles put marriage as an idol. “If I were just married, then…things would be _____________.” Put something good in there.
And on the flip side married people have the same issue. “If my wife/husband would just ___________, things would be so much better.”
And there’s a grain of truth in both of those statements. But they can also be an idol. An idol where we are looking to someone else to fill in us only that which God can fill.
It really comes down to He is the one to trust for provision, protection, purpose, belonging and more.
So what takes the place of god in our lives? Sports? Entertainment? Our own judgment? Money? Sex? Relationships? Anything that takes the place where God should have the trust is an idol. What is our temptation?