So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.” – Exodus 32:31
Yesterday, we started talking about the dangers of idolatry and putting other things above God. We talked about how idolatry moves us to deny the one true God. Today, let’s look at two other things that happen if we fall into idolatry.
Another danger is that idolatry leads us to devise a false God. We are all tempted to make a big “God” into a little “god.” We don’t want a God who tells us what to do. We want a god that will approve what we want to do. We don’t want a God we serve, but we want a god who serves us. We don’t want a God we please, but a god that pleases us.
There is something even more subtle under the surface about idolatry. Most people are not tempted to worship evil things. What we do most of the time is simply put God second to good things. With that said, if you are for God, you don’t put anything before God. Here is what we tend to do without even realizing it. We take a good thing and turn it into a god thing.
You see, a family is a good thing, but some people worship their family. Money can be a good thing, but many people worship their money. A beautiful home is a good thing, but some people worship their home. This is where it gets dangerous because we devise false gods from good things that were maybe meant to be blessings, but never meant to be ahead of God.
Finally, idolatry forces us to decide on one God. Do you know the scariest thing about idolatry? It deadens your soul where you can no longer have any kind of relationship with the God you were made to know. It deepens your sin. You will live a life of constant rebellion against all that God wanted to do in you, through you, with you, and for you. It darkens your spirit. You spend all of your life walking down a trail that leads to nowhere that you don’t discover until you get to the end.
But the good news is, that doesn’t have to be your story. There is another way. But you have to choose the right way. You have to choose God over everything and everyone else. You have to decide which god you are going to serve – the gods of this world or the one true God.
Dear Lord, I want to choose you over every other thing that competes to be my god. I don’t want to devise false gods out of things that are bad for me, or even things that are good for me. Please give me the wisdom I need to keep you first at all times. In Jesus’ name, amen.