Monday, September 20, 2010

Putting aside idols

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron.  "Come on," they said, "make us some gods who can lead us. We don't know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt." -Exodus 32:1

Even as Moses was receiving the law from the Lord's own hand, the Israelites were rebelling against God at the foot of the mountain.  

How is it, we ask, that the Israelites could witness God’s incredible salvation - the plagues of Egypt, ending with death; salvation at the Red Sea; manna and quail from heaven to meet daily needs - and still give up on Him and Moses, asking Aaron to build them a golden calf to worship?  These people have no memory.  Surely we would not make the same mistakes. 

But of course the story of God’s people is my story as well.  How often do I fail to trust in the Lord, instead trying to build other gods – security, writing, my husband, work – into my life and worship them?  Not that I actually bow down to them, but idol worship can also be defined as giving them more time and energy than I give the Lord, and taking sanctuary in them instead of in the Lord Most High.  I must confess that I do this far too often.

Lord, I need - we all need - Your help to (1) SEE when this is happening – please put Your finger on it and say, Beloved, THIS is what you are doing, taking refuge in these instead of in Me. 

Next, we need Your help to (2) STOP this from happening and rededicate ourselves to You. 

Then please help us (3) SEEK Your guidance and direction in giving these things proper place in our lives, in subjection to You.  You must always be supreme in my life, supreme over these things... because that is Your rightful place, and because only in putting You first can there be peace and order in my life.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. - Matthew 6:33, The Message

What idols compete with God for your time, money, and attention?