Saturday, January 7, 2017

Gods and Idols

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

-- 1 Corinthians 10:31

We're all worshipers in one way or another.

Christ-followers worship the true God revealed and proven through the Bible. Meanwhile, various religions around the world promote man-made gods, ancestor worship and even the reverence of living things or nature (worshiping the creation rather than the Creator). Then there are today's popular false teachings such as New Age, Scientology and Kabbalah. It's a very long list.

Even those who claim to be strict atheists Idolare actually vigorous worshipers. True, they're not Sunday morning churchgoers who proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But they--like everyone--bow down to something. Some worship money, luxury and pleasure while others bend the knee to intellect and higher learning. Meanwhile, others kneel at the altar of more negative gods such as alcohol, drugs and illicit relationships.

The saying goes that there are no atheists on the battlefield. But there's a different type of conflict that rages every day within us all: the God of the Bible versus the world's gods and idols. It's our hearts, minds and souls that are the prize of war.

Perhaps we don't literally kneel before and worship graven images. But the fact is that that we secretly (or maybe not-so-secretly) cherish our own personal gods. Consider the things that we worry about or sacrifice our time and money for. What are the issues that make us angry? What brings us the most joy? And here's a revealing question: Whose attention and applause do we most crave?

If the answer to each question doesn't involve the Lord, then we're likely worshiping an idol. And idols can be difficult to recognize through the smoke and confusion of spiritual warfare. That's because they're experts at camouflage. Even seemingly good things can evolve into inferior "god things" if they're misused. 

With this in mind, let's remember that our Creator--the God of the Bible revealed in person through Jesus Christ--refuses to share his glory with false idols, man-made religions and philosophies. We therefore must consider the God--or gods--in our lives, and then choose the One to serve and live for.

"Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord," declared Joshua, the courageous Old Testament leader who brought the Israelites into the Promised Land. "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

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