Monday, January 12, 2015

Idols in the Heart

Read: Ezekiel 14:1-11

Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face…Therefore say unto the house of Israel…Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols.                         Ezekiel 14:3, 6

     To the current era of Christianity, the second and third commandments in the list of ten in Exodus 20 have long been regarded as almost unnecessary. Who has other gods or molds idols out of wood and then worships them? To many, it seems like a problem only the Israelites had because of the prevalence of such things in their day. Ezekiel 14 debunks those myths, however. God came to Ezekiel and told him that the men of Israel had set up idols in their hearts. He further made it clear that those idols were a stumblingblock to them, and that they were causing the people to be separated from God. To God, the solution was simple: turn away from those idols and turn back to Him, or face the wrath and punishment of God. God wasn’t looking forward to punishing them; His purpose was far more noble than that. He wanted them to be His people and He to be their God.
     God is still seeking the same relationship with His people today. He wants to reign supreme in our lives, but so many things are vying for the position that should only belong to God. I don’t suspect that you have wooden idols set up in your bedroom that you pray to every night. I would actually be concerned if you carried a “pocket god” with you that you prayed to three times a day. However, many young men have idols in their hearts that are just as ungodly, yet they seem to think it is okay to keep them there. There are many idols, but some that are more prominent than others. Media would be one example of them. This includes music, movies, video games, television, and the internet. Besides the obvious problems with some of those things being filled with ungodly images and words, they often rob the time that one should spend seeking God. Those things are not wrong, but they often take the place of a relationship with God. Money is another idol of the heart. Many young men get so enamored with making money that they are willing to compromise their convictions or miss church and youth activities to get it. They hold making money in higher esteem than they do the things of God.
     To me, it seems like the Israelites would have had an easy job getting rid of idols – take them off the mantle, destroy them, and start worshipping God alone. It is much harder today. Since the idols in the heart are invisible, they must be sought out, evaluated, then destroyed. It is best to seek and destroy them before they do the same to you.

Quote of the day: “If you want to have a heart for God you must let God have your heart.”

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