The Commandments as given in Exodus 20 begin by telling us 1) to worship God and put nothing else ahead of Him and 2) to not make an idol of any kind.
God inspired Moses to write:
Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.
You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about His relationship with you.Exodus 19:3 and Exodus 34:14
And Paul to write:
They knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.Romans 1:21–23
And as we look around at the world today, Solomon’s words ring true…
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.Ecclesiastes 1:9–10
God alone is to be the focus of our worship . . . we were created by Him and for Him.
However, ever since the very first sin, we are selfishly and sinfully prone to worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.
Here are just some of our 21st Century Idols:
- The Planet
- Anything else that is placed ahead of God.
The enemy of our souls is constantly and consistently tempting us to focus our love, energy, and devotion on the things God gives us instead of on Him.
Have you ever believed that because you have faith in Jesus and worship God and don’t bow down to physical idols, you aren’t guilty of sinning against God’s 1st Commandments?
Why is it we always want to do it ourselves . . . to believe we’re “doing it right”?
Maybe it’s because we don’t want to admit that we still put our own desires ahead of God’s will, we go along with “crowd think” to be popular, and hold a closed fist over anything we believe is a “must have” in order for us to be happy.
The truth is—that’s idolatry.
And I’m guilty. Maybe you are too.
So . . . what do we do about it?
The Lord God says, “Be sorry for your sins and turn away from your false gods. Turn your faces away from all your sinful ways.Ezekiel 14:6 (NLV)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.Mark 12:30
And Paul wrote:
Give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.Romans 12:1
Or as the Message paraphrased it:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.Romans 12:1–2a
3 Ways to Worship God Alone and Turn to Him
- Repent – confess our sins to God and admit that His way is best.
- Love God with our whole being – heart, mind, soul, and strength.
- Surrender every day to God. Trust His will and live for His glory.
Worship God – Repent. Love. Surrender in faith.
A Prayer to Worship God and
Obey the 1st Commandments
Father, Thank you for Your Word and for making it possible for us to KNOW Your will for us. Moses wrote Your 10 Commandments for Your children and Jesus summed them up by saying, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 37 & 39) Fully surrendering to You, loving You completely, is simply our response to Your perfect, unfailing, forever love.
Please forgive me. I want to respond to Your love by loving You more than anyone or anything else in my life. I am guilty of using the blessings You have given me in ways that indicate I love those blessings more than I love You. I am so sorry.
I believe and trust that You want what is best for me. I ask that You will fill me with Your Spirit and help me love You and give You my all. I ask You to give me everything I need to refuse to give in to anything that tries to set itself up ahead of You as Lord of my life. And I surrender today and every day to You, requesting that You will guide and direct me and help me fully trust and obey Your will that I might live for Your glory. I humbly come to You, Father, in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Our struggle with selfishness will be with us until we die, but by God’s grace and with His help we don’t need to give in to the temptation of 21st Century Idols.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, you and I can make God the center of our lives. We can make it our heart’s desire to worship, trust, honor, and glorify Him each day.
With His help, we can love God and His people. No, not perfectly, but humbly and intentionally covered by God’s grace, mercy, and love.
Worship God – do everything in love for God’s glory! Holding onto the truth that . . . we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens” us. (Philippians 4:13)
May God give you everything you need to obey the 1st Commandments and love as He desires.
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