“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God..." Exodus 20:3-5
When I was first married, my life was about my husband. I had other things going on, of course, but I was focused on him. My relationship with the Lord became secondary to my marriage. With all the best intentions, I sunk everything I had into being a wife.
About two years into my marriage, the Lord started to impress upon my heart that I was to love Him above all else...including Rob. At first, this seemed like a betrayal to my husband. But I was reminded ... "you shall have no other gods before me." It was not until I lived that that my love for Rob was complete.
As our society progresses, God becomes smaller and smaller in comparison to our "advances." Relationships become secondary to our tasks. Sometimes we would rather be on time to a meeting instead of consoling a child in need. Perhaps we have neglected our relationship with the Lord because our schedules are too full of programs and activities that disguise themselves as being God-centered. We fill our lives with things to make us feel alive...to give us purpose. Have we placed our own significance above the Lord? Has it become a god that we bow down to? Who are we serving? Ourselves, or Him?
The consequences of idolatry in the Bible were fierce. God would smite you if you built altars to other gods. Literally. He had no tolerance for idolatry, and because we serve a God that does not change, I suspect He still has no tolerance for it.
Idols today are sneaky...they come wrapped in pretty packages and promising fulfillment. They whisper to you that you'll be happier if you put all of your energy into them. They soak you in a nice tub complete with aromatherapy and candles, and gradually turn up the temperature until you are being burned alive.
We serve a jealous God. Carefully examine your commitments, your relationships, your tasks...and pray that the Lord would remove any idolatry from your life. For looks are deceiving. That's why the Lord tells us to guard our hearts above all else. There will be many things in this life that will try to rob of us the joy of giving our hearts exclusively to the Lord. May you have the wisdom to discern between things of the Lord...and things that are idolatrous.