Jer 5-7; Psalm 75; 2 Cor 10

Worshipping idols? ME? Never…

When I was younger, one thing I remember about the holidays was by far the food! I was convinced that there was no place on Earth better than our house for the amazing spread of food my Mom and Dad always prepared, especially at Easter! And part of the Easter ritual was watching The Ten Commandments with Yule Brynner. One of the parts I found I enjoyed waiting for was the scene of Brynner carrying his son over to one of the gods that was worshipped. As Brynner placed the body of his dead son in the hands of the god, he challenges the god to raise the boy to show power over our God in Heaven. Lately, more than ever before, I’ve wondered if we’re still seeking our strength and validation through outside means other than from God?

Fast forward to 2015… no, we don’t have gods in our home made of the finest gold that we bow down to, but have we really done away with idols in our life? Have we progressed beyond such things? I don’t believe so… in 2015, idols have taken on different form, and if we’re not careful, our worshipping of these idols may be the very thing that will keep us from receiving all of God’s blessings spoken in Jeremiah 7:5-6… I will be merciful only if… you stop harming yourself by worshiping idols.

God commands us to serve only Him for a couple of reasons… first, and most important, is that He deserves our highest praise and worship… that alone is enough. Second, I believe that keeping God first place helps to keep us safe. The only way that can happen is if we guard ourselves against harmful influences. No matter what happens in and around our lives, we can be perfectly safe when we live life within the guardrails of our Father’s will. Circumstances will get messy, even to the point of us being afraid, but our souls will not be in danger.

However… I believe that we cast off God’s protection by failing to recognize His lordship. If we are callous to our Father and toss aside His love, out of preference for unholy desires, then we remove ourselves from His spiritual safety net. A soul that God saves is still safe eternally, but we place our lives on Earth in grave jeopardy. We cannot expect to receive all the blessings of mercy that can come from God alone while we run on a path that leads us away from Him.

You would think that we would process all this logically and conclude that it is best to stick only with Him as our God. We might be smart enough to agree with that statement. But good logic does not automatically equate with good behavior, and we do not always do what is best for ourselves.

We think it’s best for us to receive more of God’s mercy, and we’re right about that. However, we must stay close to Him in order to accept that mercy. There are no good outcomes from putting anything before God… NONE! Moving outside of God’s will by disobeying Him will always mean additional pain.

Life with God offers enough adventure without adding guaranteed hurt to the journey. We should desire His best way, and then follow up by living His best way. Henry Ward Beecher, a pastor in the late 1800’s shared “The strength of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and going in that way too.”

Heavenly Father… you are amazingly gracious and merciful… I thank you for keeping my soul safe. Please help me to help myself by living in obedience to you… Amen!

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