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My Other god September 30, 2010

Posted by thesociallyawkwardchristian in Bible, confession, life, sin.

The first of the Ten Commandments always struck me as odd. In case you haven’t seen the movie recently (because isn’t that where we all first learned them? I can never read any story about Moses without picturing Charlton Heston), the first commandment as in Exodus 20: 3-6 says,

  You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (ESV)

It’s always been hard of me to think of God as being “jealous,” being that jealousy is usually seen as a negative trait. Even one of Paul’s most popular New Testament passages says that, “Love is not jealous” (1 Corinthians 13:4).  But, that’s what God says about Himself. He is jealous. He loves us so much, and wants our love in return, that He experiences the emotion that we call jealousy when we give the love that should be His and His alone to another god. I think most of us dismiss this verse as more speaking to the Israelites in those days and not su much to us, because we don’t have “carved images” or idols, that we bow down, serve, and pray to. At least not in the most literal sense. But, I’ve come to realize in my own life, that I probably break this commandment more than any other commandment in the entire Bible. Though I don’t bow down or pray to any little statue or anything like that, I do turn to other things when I should turn to God.

I turn to the god of food when I’m in need of comfort.

Food makes me feel better about my situation, if only for a few minutes. At times, I feel like I don’t even have a choice in the matter. After leaving the church on Wednesdays after youth service, I have to go through the Taco Bell drive-thru, even when I’m not that hungry. It’s like a ritual or sacrament. While eating three chicken quesdillas at ten o’clock at night might sound like it’s bad only for my physical health, it’s also detrimental to my spiritual health, because I’m looking at the food to fulfill an area in my life that only God can. I’ve often argued that God is not concerned about this as much as my other sins. I’ve said things to myself like, “I need to overcome this lust issue, before I focus of this gluttony issue.” When truth be told, God wants me to turn all my sin over to Him, and they are all destructive. In some ways, serving the god of food is worse than serving the god of pornography. Every Christian peer I have would call me out if they saw me buying an adult movie from the mall, not one of them would think anything of it if they saw me buying a triple from Wendy’s. But, this addiction to food (and it is an addiction, let’s call it what it is) has me in just as much bondage as an addiction drugs or sex. It’s bad for my body and it’s bad for my spirit. That’s exactly what worshiping idols do to you, they leave you with a broken body and spirit.

Slowly but surely, I’ve heard God’s call to me to lay down my idols, to turn my back of my other gods, and to worship Him only. To only find fulfillment in my relationship with Him and Him alone.

What are some of your idols? How can we help each other turn our backs on them and only worship God?



1. David - October 12, 2010

Good post –

Man, it started with alcohol, cigarettes and a host of other things.

What I am most glad about, is the more time I spend in His presence, the more holy I become, the quicker I return to communion with my Father, and the more peace that I have.

It’s been less about identifying idols, and more about rushing to His presence.

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