Ezekiel 14:6,7 – “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face…”
Idols. I have heard all my life that an idol is anything that you put before God. The fourth definition of “idol” in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is this: “Anything on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment. Any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of his rational creatures.”
The children of Israel were notorious for their going back to idol worship. It plagued them throughout the Old Testament. We look back at them and shake our heads at their lack of faith and inability to refuse idol worship.
But aren’t we just as bad? For the most part, our society doesn’t have images that we worship. Now, there are some who worship statues in our society, don’t get me wrong. But I personally don’t know anyone who has a statue in their home that they bow down to daily.
But I do know people who put other things before their service to God. I have friends that say that they are followers of Christ that don’t step foot into a worship service on Sunday morning. They are at the pool or at the store or at the amusement park or at the ball game – anywhere other than worshiping God.
Last week, we had revival at our church. My son had soccer practice two of the nights of revival. We had a choice to make – do we let him go to soccer or take him to revival? I’ll be honest. We actually toyed around with the idea of letting him go to practice. But in the end, we decided that we needed to show him what was more important – worshipping and serving God. And let me tell you, God blessed my heart in that decision. We had amazing challenges laid out before us and my son was keenly interested. I know that God will use the lesson we all learned last week to touch our hearts in the future.
But walking away and choosing “idols” is so easy. The first step is to separate ourself from Him, just one time. Just one time. That is all it takes to walk away from Him. Then it becomes easier and easier. And then you realize that you are knee deep in step 2 – the idol is set. The little time away from Him has become full on focus on something else. And this makes the “idol” a stumbling block. It gets in the way when we want to go back. We’ve committed to it.
And sister, we are all guilty of this. We have all let something else come in the way of our service and worship of God. It could be work, school and it’s activities, extra-curricular sports, television, vacations, hobbies, fatigue – the list could go on and on, but you get what I’m saying. It is easy to let the things that we enjoy doing get in the way of our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). It is not that any of the things listed above are bad. It is just that they have their place in our lives. And that place is behind our service and worship to God.
Dear princess, we have a way back. Repent. Repent means to turn around and go the other way. Choose to walk away from whatever is keeping you from doing what you know that you are to do. Do those things later. Don’t do them when you know you should be at the house of the Lord or in the presence of the Lord. Make God your priority and He will bless you because of it. He will make the relationship so much sweeter. And besides, who are you going to be spending more time with in the future (like eternity kind of future), Him or the “idol”? When you think about your time in the scope of eternity, spending time away from Him seems futile. You want to know Him before you get there.